Apple working with Hertz to test self-driving technology

In contrast, Apple's deal with Hertz will include leasing a small number of Lexus RX450H vehicles, the same model it has been using since the California Department of Motor Vehicles approved Apple to test self-driving technology. Hertz shares soared the most in nearly two years.

Hertz have apparently supplied Apple with Lexus RX450h vehicles which Apple are using to test out their self driving auto software in California.

Sources familiar with the situation told CNBC that Apple is leasing six cars from a Hertz subsidiary for autonomous software testing.

Hertz declined to comment, while Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hertz stock had dropped by more than 75 percent over the past 12 months amid falling revenue and profit, and investor concern about the role rental companies will play in an automotive industry where self-driving cars and ride-hailing play a greater role.

The news echoes a similar deal announced between the self-driving auto unit of Google parent Alphabet and rental auto company Avis Budget Group to offer support and maintenance services for its fleet of autonomous vehicles. In the report Apple's CEO finally went on record about Project Titan by noting that "We're focusing on autonomous systems".

Vanessa Coleman

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