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GM shares the ride with Maven

New wave: GM has taken a gamble that car-sharing will be the new method of vehicle ownership, establishing its own service under the Maven brand.

New ride-sharing service Maven to be rolled out across the globe by GM

21 Jan 2016

GENERAL Motors has jumped into the car-sharing business in a major way, announcing a new global service called Maven.

The service leverages GM’s recent $500 million ($A685m) investment in ride-sharing company Lyft and other operators, bringing them all under one shiny new brand umbrella.

Maven has opened for business close to home in the Detroit suburb of Ann Arbor where it will target University of Michigan students.

Next will be Chicago and New York where existing operations in partnership with independent operators will be brought under the Maven umbrella.

The GM move follows rival Daimler’s move into Car2Go in Europe and North America.

New GM products such as the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt are being designed and engineered with technologies to accommodate the service.

Announcing Maven, GM president Dan Ammann said GM was at the forefront of redefining the future of personal mobility.

“With the launch of our car-sharing service through Maven, the strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft, and building on our decades of leadership in vehicle connectivity through OnStar, we are uniquely positioned to provide the high level of personalised mobility services our customers expect today and in the future,” he said.

GM says the services will be customised to regional customer needs and include city, residential, peer-to-peer and campus programs.

Promising an ownership-like experience with the convenience of car-sharing, GM said Maven customers would experience seamless smartphone and keyless integration with the vehicle.

“Maven customers use its app to search for and reserve a vehicle by location or car type and unlock the vehicle with their smartphone,” it said.

“The app also enables remote functions such as starting, heating or cooling and more.

“Customers can bring their digital lives into the vehicle through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar, SiriusXM radio and 4G LTE wireless.”

Insurance and fuel will be included in the Maven price which GM says will be “simple and transparent”.

GM vice president of urban mobility programs Julia Steyn said Maven would offer on-demand access and a choice of vehicles for “the right vehicle and right mobility service for the right trip at the right time”.

“With more than 25 million customers around the world projected to use some form of shared mobility by 2020, Maven is a key element of our strategy to changing ownership models in the automotive industry,” she said.

In Ann Arbor, Maven vehicles will be parked in 21 parking spots across the city under the program that will be offered to more than 100,000 people.

GM has created a team of 40 to develop the global Maven roll out, hiring ride- and car-sharing professionals from Google, Zipcar and Sidecar.

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