The parts delivery initiative will begin in a geofenced area around AutoNation Toyota Tempe, AutoNation CEO Cheryl Miller said.
"AutoNation Toyota Tempe delivers a lot of Toyota parts to other businesses," Miller told Automotive News. "And so now we will be delivering those Toyota parts in these [automated Waymo] vehicles instead of sending a person."
Waymo last week tweeted: "We're excited to extend our partnership with @autonation with the launch of a new pilot that enables delivery of car parts throughout our service area, transported safely and securely in our vehicles." And Waymo CEO John Krafcik last week thanked Miller and AutoNation Chairman Mike Jackson for the partnership, tweeting: "The Waymo Driver delivers! We're piloting automated b2b parts delivery in Metro Phoenix for @AutoNation."
Soon, Toyota Tempe staff will request a Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan via app and send parts to customers on demand, Miller said. The vehicle will arrive, and a staffer will load the parts. Waymo confirmed the Pacificas will have safety drivers.
AutoNation and Waymo announced their partnership in November 2017, focusing on servicing Waymo's self-driving vehicles. Last year, the tie-up added Waymo rides for customers from the Toyota Tempe store.
This past summer, executives said their partnership had deepened. AutoNation developed a "Waymo certificate" on its wage grid for technicians who received training on automated-vehicle maintenance. And AutoNation developed a customized digital platform for Waymo that aimed to more closely track and speed repairs.
There are hints that the partnership will continue to broaden. Waymo will integrate Jaguar I-Pace electric vehicles into its lineup, and AutoNation has more than 30 Jaguar-Land Rover dealerships. And Waymo has begun to map the Los Angeles market, where AutoNation has a large footprint.
Miller said AutoNation hopes to expand its partnership with Waymo as that company grows.
"We're excited in the coming months to be launching autonomous parts delivery. We're excited about the extension of that multiyear servicing agreement where we are servicing vehicles on the ground in Phoenix that are very technically complex," Miller told analysts in a call last week. "And that really plays to our skill set of being able to work on electric, being able to work on autonomous and being able to meet future customer mobility needs."
Pete Bigelow contributed to this report.