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Waymo Strikes Deal With Walmart On Self-driving Cars

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Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL,GOOG) Waymo self-driving car unit is partnering with retail giant Walmart Inc. (WMT) and four other companies in Phoenix, Arizona to expand access to its self-driving cars.

"While these are Metro Phoenix-specific partnerships today, these businesses are national and what we learn from these programs will give us a network of partners when we launch in new cities down the road," Waymo said in a statement.

Waymo is launching two pilots with Walmart and DDR Corp. to make shopping more convenient for customers.

Later this week, Walmart and Waymo will launch a test pilot that will give early customers savings on groceries each week when they are ordered on Walmart.com. While orders are being prepared at the store, Waymo vehicles will transport customers to and from Walmart to collect their groceries.

At the Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center in Chandler, shopping center owner DDR Corp. (DDR) will offer shoppers and diners rides in Waymo self-driving vehicles, enabling them avoid the stress of parking lots.

In another partnership with the Element Hotel in Chandler, Waymo will give select guests access to Waymo vehicles. Select guests include business travelers who need to commute to and from the office during their frequent stays.

Waymo is also expanding its existing partnerships with AutoNation Inc. (AN) and Avis Budget Group Inc. (CAR).

AutoNation will now offer customers who are having their vehicles serviced at its dealerships to ride in a Waymo, rather than a loaner car, to get around. The automotive retailer already helps service and maintain Waymo vehicles in Phoenix.

Car rental company Avis Budget Group will soon provide Waymos as a last-mile solution for Avis customers in Phoenix to help them pick up or drop off their rental cars, beginning with their two Chandler locations.

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