Apple was using Lexus RX 450h hybrids was discovered and it was doing for testing its autonomous car system. This was not purchased from Lexus.
Apples small fleet came from Hertz’s Donlen fleet management subsidiary, reports Bloomberg and has documents citing from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, listing Apple as the lessee and the lessor as the Donlen.
The iPhone maker acquired a permit in April from the state of California, providing it the ability to test on public roads its autonomous vehicle system. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO acknowledged his company earlier this month to develop a system for self-driving cars to be sold to automakers.
Earlier on Monday, Waymo, Google’s sister company and Avis Budget Group announced that the latter would be in charge of housing and servicing the formers self-driving fleet of minivans.
Right now, it is totally unclear if Apple is only leasing vehicles from Donlen and servicing them elsewhere, or if it is having a partnership similar to the Waymo-Avis-Budget arrangement.
Neither Apple nor Hertz Donlen gave any comment.
Apple Inc. leases a small fleet of cars from Hertz Global Holdings Inc. to test self-driving technology, seems to be an agreement echoing a larger deal between competitors Alphabet Inc. and Avis Budget Group Inc. Hertz that soared in almost two years.
Apple received license to test three autonomous vehicles from the state’s DMV and an Apple spokesman declined to comment, while a Hertz representative also did not immediately respond to a request on Monday. Nearly, half-dozen vehicles are under testing Apple’s autonomous technology on public roads in and around the San Francisco Bay area for over a year, a person familiar with Apple’s project told earlier this year to Bloomberg.