After its recent investment in Lyft and its acquisition of Sidecar, General Motors announced today its own new car-sharing service under a new “mobility brand” called “Maven”.
The company says Maven will incorporate multiple programs with the single mission “to give customers access to highly personalized, on-demand mobility services”.
GM says its global Maven team includes more than 40 dedicated employees from the connected car technology industry as well as ride- and car-sharing professionals from Google, Zipcar and Sidecar.
Maven customers will use their smartphone for a keyless integration with the vehicle. They will use Maven’s app to search and reserve vehicles by location or car type and unlock the vehicle with their smartphone. The app also enables remote functions such as starting, heating or cooling and more. The vehicles in Maven’s fleet will be equipped with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar, SiriusXM radio and 4GLTE wireless.
GM is already starting a few programs this week under Maven with more plans to be announced:
- City: Today, Maven is announcing that it is offering its car-sharing program to more than 100,000 people in Ann Arbor, Mich., initially focusing on serving faculty and students at the University of Michigan. GM vehicles will be available initially at 21 parking spots across the city.
Additional city-based programs will launch in major U.S. metropolitan areas later this year.
Maven pricing is simple and transparent and includes insurance and fuel.
As Maven grows, the team will use innovative ways of connecting personally with customers. Ann Arbor Maven users will have direct access to Maven leadership and core team members via the messaging application WhatsApp to share their experiences, ideas and thoughts with the team as they help shape the Maven service.
- Residential: In the first quarter of 2016, Maven will launch car-sharing services for Chicago residents in partnership with Magellan Development Group. Maven is also expanding its existing residential program in New York City (previously called Let’s Drive NYC) with Stonehenge Partners giving users on-demand access to vehicles and preferred parking options. Both programs combined will offer service to more than 5,000 residents.
- Peer-to-Peer: Existing global initiatives include peer-to-peer car-sharing through the CarUnity market place in Germany. Nearly 10,000 users have signed up in Frankfurt and Berlin since mid-2015.
- Campus: Various programs are running on GM campuses in the U.S., Germany and China to refine and test future Maven commercial offerings.