General Motors launched a car-sharing program, Maven. However, the car will be available only in one city Ann Arbor, Michigan for the start although GM is thinking of supplying it to the other cities as well. The auto manufacturer is aspiring for driverless cars. But unlike what everyone is believes it is not exactly trying to compete with the current American car-sharing venture ZipCar.
Rather it is one-step towards a driverless future for the Detroit automaker. Under the brand Maven, the company will be running various car-sharing ventures that will sooner spread to other metros in the later part of this year. According to GM executives, the primary business of selling the conventional cars will continue at large, but a significant change is expected in the car and ride sharing.
GM kicks off the year with major investments and launches
Dan Ammann, GM President, said that the company is foreseeing significant opportunities in this sector, and it wants to ensure that they are at the forefront of the competition. The automaker already has announced two new mobility deals at the start of the year. It purchased the remnants of Sidecar, a defunct ride-hailing company, and competitor of the Uber and made an investment of $500 million in Lyft, another ride-hailing company to develop driverless car network.
The automaker also introduced a first mass-market electric car, Chevy Bolt, earlier this month. It has also started working with Mobileye for developing maps for robocars.
Does GM want to make money through car-sharing?
Of course, there is a lot of money in car sharing as ventures such as ZipCar has shown. However for a biggie like GM, these are just small potatoes and hence at the surface, the move does not make any sense. The intention is to build up a rudiment for the network of self-driving cars.
And GM is expecting that Maven will provide a strong foundation to its future network for driverless vehicles.