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General Motors launches ‘Maven’ personal mobility brand

General Motors has launched its next step in redefining personal mobility with a new car-sharing service, which combines and expands the company’s multiple programs under one single brand – Maven. The new brand’s aim is to give customers access to highly personalized, on-demand mobility services. The global Maven team includes more than 40 dedicated employees from the connected car technology industry, as well as ride- and car-sharing professionals from Google, Zipcar and Sidecar. GM has hired employees and bought the assets of Sidecar Technologies Inc., a ride-hailing company that ceased operations in December, due to it being unable to keep up with the likes of Lyft and Uber, the main players in the USA’s ride-hailing market. The Sidecar deal comes about two weeks after GM announced a US$500m investment in Lyft as part of a US$1bn round of fund-raising for the ride-hailing company.

Maven is introducing its offerings in multiple cities and communities across the USA, with its services customized to regional customer needs and include city, residential, peer-to-peer and campus programs. The new brand is offering its car-sharing program to more than 100,000 people in Ann Arbor, Michigan, initially focusing on serving faculty and students at the University of Michigan (U-M). GM vehicles will be available initially at 21 parking spots across the city, and additional city-based programs will launch in major metropolitan areas later this year. Participants in the Ann Arbor pilot will have direct access to Maven leadership and core team members via the ‘WhatsApp’ messaging application, in order to share their experiences, ideas and thoughts with the team as they help shape the new service.

Maven customers will experience seamless smartphone and keyless integration with the vehicle. Customers will use its app to search for and reserve a vehicle by location or car type and unlock the vehicle with their smartphone. The app also enables remote functions, such as starting, heating or cooling, and customers will also be able to access Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar, SiriusXM radio and 4GLTE wireless. Each vehicle will provide an ownership-like experience, with the convenience of car-sharing, and pricing is simple and transparent and includes insurance and fuel.In the first quarter of 2016, Maven will launch car-sharing services for Chicago residents in partnership with Magellan Development Group. Maven is also expanding its existing residential program in New York City (previously called Let’s Drive NYC) with Stonehenge Partners, giving users on-demand access to vehicles and preferred parking options. Both programs combined will offer service to more than 5,000 residents. Existing global initiatives include peer-to-peer car-sharing through the CarUnity market place in Germany, where nearly 10,000 users have signed up in Frankfurt and Berlin since mid-2015. Various programs are running on GM campuses in the USA, Germany and China to refine and test future Maven commercial offerings.

“We are at the forefront of redefining the future of personal mobility,” said GM’s president, Dan Ammann. “With the launch of our car-sharing service through Maven, the strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft, and building on our decades of leadership in vehicle connectivity through OnStar, we are uniquely positioned to provide the high level of personalized mobility services our customers expect today and in the future.”

For a video detailing the vision for the future of Maven click here

 

January 22, 2016

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