General Motors has made its interest in the ride-sharing market abundantly clear, and if its $500 million investment into Lyft, or its acquisition of Sidecar’s assets weren’t enough to convince you of that, then maybe the fact that it’s launched its own car-sharing service will be. Notice that I said car-sharing instead of ride-sharing, and that’s because the new service, known as Maven, allows users to share their unused vehicles with each other, rather than giving them rides. The service is currently limited to Ann Arbor, where users can drop off and pick up unused vehicles at 21 parking lots throughout the city, but Maven will expand to more cities in the United States later this year.
General Motors is officially now in the mobility market. GM announced Thursday morning that it has launched a new mobility brand called Maven that will work to connect international users with car sharing, preferred parking and more. Although some Maven features will have international applications, its car-sharing program is starting out in a relatively limited fashion. Starting now, Maven will offer GM vehicles in 21 parking spots throughout Ann Arbor, Michigan, which will serve the 100,000-some population of the college town. With the Maven app, users will be able to search, locate, reserve and even adjust the climate settings of the shared car. Once they arrive at the vehicle, they’ll be able to unlock and start it with their smartphone. Once inside, they’ll be privy to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar, SiriusXM radio and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. Should the users have any comments, questions or concerns, they’ll be able to give feedback to the 40-person dedicated Maven team via the WhatsApp app. Maven will include insurance and fuel for the vehicles in the cost of the service, so you don’t have to worry about either. Although the car-sharing portion is starting out small, Maven plans to expand into other major U.S. metropolitan areas later this year.