Apple’s foray into autonomous cars could eventually put rental car companies out of business, but for now, Apple Car rumors are doing wonders for Hertz which just saw its stock price skyrocket thanks to some new rumors.
A new report published by Bloomberg claims Apple and Hertz are working together on Apple’s fleet of self-driving cars. An official partnership hasn’t been announced by either company though and Apple currently only leases six cars from Hertz.
Apple’s rental car needs could skyrocket over the coming years as its self-driving technology platform advances. If Hertz scores a deal to be the sole lessor of Apple’s car fleet it could become a big revenue stream for the struggling rental car company.
Today’s news sent Hertz soaring up 14% before coming down slightly as the trading day wore on. Meanwhile, Hertz’s rival Avis announced this morning that it inked a deal to manage Google’s self-driving car fleet.
The future of the Apple Car
Right now Apple is leasing six Lexus RX450h sport-utility vehicles from Hertz’s Donlen fleet-management unit. Apple is reportedly focusing its efforts on developing a self-driving car platform, instead of trying to build an entire car from the ground up.
The self-driving car project has run into a number of hurdles over the past few years. At one point the allegedly decided to reboot the entire project and turn management over to Apple vet Bob Mansfield.
Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the company is exploring the space and called self-driving cars “the mother of all AI problems” in a recent interview. The company’s fleet of Lexus SUVs can already be spotted driving on California streets.