General Motors announced a new platform that engages a cultural shift in personal mobility and transportation. According to GM, more than 25 million people around the globe are expected to use some type of ride-sharing service by 2020. In response, the automaker’s new program, Maven, is now offered in multiple cities across the United States with direct access to on-demand mobility.
“GM is at the forefront of redefining the future of personal mobility,” said GM President Dan Ammann.
In addition to providing the right vehicle, at the right time, for the right trip, GM’s Vice President of Urban Mobility Programs, Julia Steyn, revealed one of Maven’s objectives is to influence the overall business. Maven will provide the convenience of car-sharing with an ownership theme.
“Maven is a key element of our strategy to changing ownership models in the automotive industry,” she said.
Maven is tailored to regional consumer needs, while pricing includes insurance and fuel. The program works in several layers:
Maven is offered to more than 100,000 people in Ann Arbor, Michigan, focusing on the faculty and students at the University of Michigan. GM vehicles will be available initially at 21 parking spots across the city and similar programs will launch later this year.
Maven incorporates smartphone and keyless integration as customers use the Maven app to search for and reserve a vehicle by location or type. The vehicle can be unlocked, remote started, heated or cooled, among other things, with the app. Customers will have the full range of GM’s available connectivity including, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar, SiriusXM, and 4GLTE Wi-Fi.
In the first quarter of 2016, Maven will launch car-sharing services in Chicago 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. Both programs combined will service more than 5,000 residents.
Maven has global reach in peer-to-peer car-sharing through the CarUnity market place in Germany. Nearly 10,000 users have signed up in Frankfurt and Berlin alone since mid-2015.
Similar to what is taking place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, various programs are running on GM campuses in the United States, Germany, and China. These markets are being used to refine future car-sharing offerings.
The global Maven team includes more than 40 employees from the connected car industry as well as ride-and car-sharing professionals from Google, Zipcar, and Sidecar. As Maven grows, the team will associate personally with clientele. Ann Arbor Maven users, for example, will have direct access to Maven leadership and core team members via the messaging application WhatsApp. Maven customers can share their experiences and ideas, helping shape the service.
“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 personalized mobility services our customers expect today and in the future,” Ammann said.
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*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.