Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) subsidiary Waymo appear to be taking quite a different approach to their autonomous vehicle strategy compared to what their rival Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been doing.
This is particularly with respect to the deals that the two firms have with rental car companies. Alphabet’s vehicle unit Waymo signed a deal in which the rental car giant Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) would manage some of the autonomous test vehicles developed by Waymo. Apple has a similar deal with Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE:HRI). The two tech companies have been trying out their self-driving technologies on different model cars and testing them out in various areas.
Apple and Alphabet opt not to go into vehicle manufacturing
Apple and Alphabet current deals with the rental vehicle companies highlight the different between their strategy and that of their rival, Tesla. While the latter has focused on the production of its own vehicles to complement its own autonomous technology, the former two have avoided the vehicle-manufacturing route. Both Apple and Alphabet have decided to focus on just creating the autonomous vehicle systems that can be fitted on regular vehicles.
A recent press release stated that Waymo will pay Avis to service and store the autonomous Chrysler Pacifica which it built in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU). Waymo will only be taking care of the self-driving system. Analysts believe that the partnership might extend in the future where Avis might end up buying and renting out vehicles fitted with Waymo systems.
The new autonomous vehicle deals have certainly given Hertz and Waymo a more positive outlook about the future of their rental car business. This might be the strategy that Apple and Alphabet are planning to take to bring their autonomous vehicle systems into the mainstream. Meanwhile, Tesla remains committed to making its own vehicles and this means it is not competing directly with the two software and tech giants. Instead, it is competing in the automotive industry and more vehicle manufacturers are following in its footsteps by coming up with electric vehicles as well as their own autonomous tech.