GM Takes on Uber, Lyft with New Car-Sharing Service Maven
Rent a Cadillac for the weekend? Yes, please.
It feels like car- and ride-sharing services have changed the driving industry as we know it, and the numbers don't lie: Uber, which is now more frequently used by business travelers than car rentals or taxis, according to a Certify expenses study, has grown 417 percent from 2014–2015; Lyft, the second-largest ride-sharing service, has grown by nearly twice that (712 percent). Zipcar has some 950,000 members; Car2Go has expanded to 32 cities around the world. Aiming to capitalize on this massive shift in the traditional model of car ownership, General Motors recently announced the launch of its shiny new car-sharing program, Maven, which gives consumers the opportunity to access different types of vehicles without committing to buying one. It's "try before you buy"—without actually buying.
But what's in it for the consumer? Unlike traditional car-sharing services like Zipcar and Car2Go, you don’t have to pay a membership fee to sign up, and you can rent a vehicle for as little as $6 an hour, including insurance and gas. The Maven app is really all you need to reserve a car, and has proven to be as easy as posting a photo to Instagram: connecting your smartphone to the vehicle you’ve reserved lets you unlock, start, and even pre-heat or cool your ride before you get in it. Dreamed of driving a Cadillac? You also get access to all of GM's brands—Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac—and features like OnStar, Apple Car Play, and Android Auto.
While Maven is currently only available in 21 spots in Michigan, GM hopes to expand the program to additional cities throughout the year. The vehicle company has also been testing existing global initiatives in places like Frankfurt and Berlin, and if all goes well, this initiative could help facilitate car sharing in other cities and countries all over the world.