Maven will eventually include autonomous ride-sharing service.
General Motors will consolidate all of its personal mobility endeavors under one brand called Maven. After a recent push to bolster its car and ride-sharing efforts, GM today officially launched Maven, which is shaping up to go head-to-head with Ford‘s FordPass mobility program.
Maven will launch and grow in multiple stages. For now, GM will concentrate on the car-sharing program to compete with established companies like Zipcar. Today the Maven car-sharing program rolls out in Ann Arbor, Mich., mostly to students and staff at the University of Michigan. GM says they will depend on these customers to help shape and improve Maven before launching the service in other cities later this year.
All Maven car-sharing operations are completed through a smartphone, from reserving a vehicle to unlocking the door. Since Maven’s fleet will consist of GM vehicles, customers can take advantage of the company’s OnStar services, while also having the ability to remotely control a number of features.
For now, ride-sharing services provided by Lyft will remain separate from Maven. GM recently secured a partnership with Lyft by investing $500 million USD into the company with a goal of eventually combining autonomous vehicle and ride-hailing technologies. The partnership will also allow Lyft drivers to rent GM vehicles and provide customers with OnStar services.
GM made another step to strengthen its ride-sharing expertise by purchasing Sidecar earlier this week. Details on that deal are still forthcoming, though Bloomberg reports that GM will acquire Sidecar employees and a number of its patented technologies. Sidecar was among the first startups to launch ride-sharing services, but has struggled to match the funding and growth from competitors like Uber and Lyft.
GM isn’t the only automaker responding to the exploding personal mobility segment. At the 2016 Detroit Auto Show Ford unveiled FordPass, an extensive program that includes the ability to map out multimodal transportation and brick and mortar “hubs” where FordPass users can obtain information and check out the latest Ford products.