15 Jan Hertz Gives Commercial Auto Lease to Apple for Self-Driving Fleet
Self-driving auto fleets are all the rage in the automotive industry at the moment. In June of this year, it was announced that rental car company, Hertz Global Holdings Inc., was providing a major commercial auto lease to technology behemoth, Apple Inc., for them to test out autonomous vehicles.
Apple has reportedly leased Hertz’ Lexus RX450h sport-utility cars. Media outlets were made aware of the lease through documents obtained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. According to the documents, Apple first leased the vehicles, from Hertz’ Hertz’s Donlen fleet-management unit, in April 2017.
According to Bloomberg News, Apple has been testing a half dozen vehicles so far. The autonomous vehicle fleet has been spotted in the San Francisco Bay area.
When Hertz publicly announced the automotive collaboration with Apple, shares for Hertz flew up 13 percent.
Waymo’s Commercial Auto Lease to Avis
Prior to Hertz’ collab with Apple, Hertz competitor Avis, and Apple’s competitor Google, teamed up with Waymo, another company that provides self-driving fleets. In the Waymo deal, Avis provides fleet management, and Google the car’s technology. Waymo has positioned itself to provide public transportation in the Phoenix, Arizona area with its autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans, and has, in fact, already started this service.
Waymo Vs. Uber
In April it was reported that Waymo was suing Uber over allegedly stealing trade secrets in regards to self-driving vehicles.
Uber has recently teamed up with Volvo for its upcoming 2019 launch of autonomous ride-share vehicles. The reported 1.4 billion deal was announced in late November.
According to the New York Times, Uber is set to purchase as many as 24,000 XC90 Volvos in the coming days, to include in their ride-share fleet. Conversations and collaborations between Uber and Volvo began two years ago, when talks of the future of driverless cars became a prime interest in the automotive industry.
Just last year, research firm Bloomberg New Energy released a report that contended that shared fleets of electric and self-driving cars would likely become the dominant mode of transportation in populated cities in the coming years. These fleets will be able to accommodate two to 20 passengers, and will be more cost-efficient than owning a car.
Intel, by way of Strategy Analytics, released a report this year guesstimating that autonomous car fleets will be a $7 trillion business by 2050. The report, which is called “Accelerating the Future: The Economic Impact of the Emerging Passenger Economy,” also projected that it will bring in $800 billion in revenue for companies by 2035.
The report calls the trend “passenger economy,” similar to the “share economy” represented by the advent of successful services such as Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft.