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AutoNation to service Waymo self-driving vehicles

  • AutoNation has signed a multiyear deal to service a growing fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans.
  • The partnership with Waymo suggests the tech-mobility company is moving closer to expanding beyond test rides.
  • Waymo also has partnerships with Avis, Lyft and Fiat-Chrysler.

With self-driving vehicles moving closer to hitting the street beyond isolated test markets, AutoNation is positioning itself to service autonomous-drive vehicles.

The country's largest auto dealer has signed a multiyear deal to service the growing fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans.

"We are excited to partner with Waymo, who is a leader of self-driving technology," said Mike Jackson, chairman, CEO and president of AutoNation. "AutoNation and Waymo are like-minded in our joint mission to keep people safe whenever they are in a vehicle."

Waymo's deal with AutoNation is the latest indication the tech-mobility company is on the cusp of expanding beyond test rides.

"We're excited where we are right now," Waymo CEO John Krafcik said earlier this week while giving reporters a peek at the company's R&D facility in California. "This technology has the potential to be transformative."

AutoNation is the latest company to partner with Waymo. The Google unit also has deals with Avis, Lyft and Fiat-Chrysler.

FCA USA and Waymo have already modified 100 Chrysler-Pacifica hybrid minivans to include the sensors, cameras and lidar radar that allow the vehicles to operate without a driver. Now, the companies are working on 500 more self-driving minivans.

"AutoNation will help assure that Waymo vehicles are always in top condition as we bring fully self-driving cars to the public," said Krafcik.