The pain, stress and injuries caused by commute traffic in California could soon become just a horrible memory, thanks to private technology companies investing in our future.

Self-driving cars have been touted as a solution to government traffic engineering failures and human error behind the wheel. Private investment in self-driving cars has revved up in recent years, and Apple has seemingly zoomed past the competition.

Since the company was granted a license by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test three self-driving vehicles this April, Apple has been leasing three sport utility vehicles from auto rental company Hertz's Donlen fleet-management group to test self-driving technology.

"The iPhone maker is leasing Lexus RX450h sport-utility vehicles from Hertz’s Donlen fleet-management unit, according to documents released recently by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. When Apple received its license to test three autonomous vehicles from the state’s DMV in April, the documents listed Donlen as the lessor and Apple as the lessee," according to a report by Bloomberg.

Apple has been testing autonomous technology on San Francisco Bay Area roads for at least six months. But the race is just getting started.

Waymo, the division of Alphabet that grew out of the Google Self-Driving Car project, announced it had tapped Avis Budget Group, a competitor to Hertz in the rental car business, to oversee the tech giant's fleet of self-driving minivans. These special Chrysler Pacificas are

"Avis Budget Group is an ideal partner to provide fleet support and maintenance," John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, said in a statement. "With thousands of locations around the world, Avis Budget Group can help us bring our technology to more people, in more places."

Though consumers can't yet rent a self-driving car from an airport, the idea isn't that far off. But it would be if ideas like autonomous vehicles for public use were left up to government to execute. Policies for testing the technology should not be restrictive, and instead allow these innovators to test the safety and effectiveness of life-changing technology.

Are you ready for autonomous vehicles to hit the streets? Share your thoughts on self-driving cars in the comments.



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