More and more manufacturers are embracing the concept of “personal mobility” that extends way beyond the production of vehicles. GM has launched their own version of a car-sharing program called Maven that will unite all of GM’s mobility services under a brand and allow users to request a vehicle on a timeshare. Does that sound familiar?

In the words of GM president Dan Ammann, the launch of the Maven service, paired with their alliance with car-sharing company Lyft and OnStar connectivity, will position GM “at the forefront of redefining the future of personal mobility”. Maven will be launched in the city of Ann Arbour, in Michigan, and the service will be offered to the University of Michigan students and faculty members to begin with. The GM vehicles will initially be available at 21 parking spots across the city. The service will extend to other areas and cities later in the year.

Not only will the customers be able to locate and reserve a vehicle via the Maven app, but it will also allow them to unlock and start the chosen vehicle using their smartphone. Using OnStar and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, the users are also expected to experience a seamless, wireless integration of their personal device to the vehicle. Users of the “beta testing” will be in touch with the team at GM via WhatsApp to share their experience and give their feedback.

In the first few months of 2016, Maven is also expected to be made available to Chicago residents as well as expand its existing service in New York, providing the service to up to 5,000 residents. Peer-to-peer car sharing is also being studied this time in Germany via the CarUnity service. GM is following in the footsteps of manufacturers who have launched or invested in similar programs and services such as Ford and Daimler.

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