Waymo, a Google spin-off company and a major player in driverless car technology has made a deal with AutoNation to repair and maintain its current fleet of test vehicles. AutoNation is the largest auto retailer in the United States. As The New York Times notes, the deal is a good indication that Waymo is nearing the point where members of the public, and not just Google employees, can hail a ride in one of them.
“AutoNation will help assure that Waymo vehicles are always in top condition as we bring fully self-driving cars to the public,” John Krafcik, Waymo’s chief executive, said in an official statement about the deal.
According to The New York Times, there have been previous hints that Waymo was getting nearer to making their fleet commercially available. Last month, at a demonstration of the company’s driverless car technology, Krafcik was asked about the readiness of the vehicles for the everyday public.
“We’re really close,” he said.