GM Launches Maven Car-Sharing Service in Michigan

The automaker takes on Zipcar.

General Motors is launching a car-sharing service called Maven. Initially launching at 21 parking locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the service lets drivers use their smartphones to reserve and unlock a vehicle that they can borrow for as little as $6 per hour.

GM's Maven is similar in practice to car-sharing services like Zipcar and Car2Go, in that users can borrow a car for a shorter period than traditional car-rental services. On its website, Maven lists rental rates starting at $6 per hour or $42 per day for a Chevrolet Volt, $8 per hour or $56 per day for a Malibu, and $12 per hour or $84 per day for a Tahoe. Working with the cars' built-in OnStar systems, the Maven smartphone app means lets drivers unlock and remote-start the car they're borrowing.

Each Maven reservation allows borrowers to drive up to 180 miles per day. The service also pays for gas and insurance for the cars.

After the launch in the college town of Ann Arbor, Maven will expand to Chicago in the first quarter of this year. GM will also expand rebrand its existing Let's Drive NYC car-sharing program in New York as Maven. Following those locations, GM says Maven will launch "in major U.S. metropolitan areas later this year."

"With more than 25 million customers around the world projected to use some form of shared mobility by 2020, Maven is a key element of our strategy to changing ownership models in the automotive industry," Julia Steyn, GM vice president of Urban Mobility Programs, said in a statement.

The announcement comes as GM, like many automakers, prepares for a future in which drivers may prefer to borrow, rather than own, vehicles. It follows GM's announcement of a partnership with ride-sharing service Lyft, and the company's acquisition of the similar service Sidecar.

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