New Maven Service Hints at GM's Vision of the Future
With the continued growth of ride-sharing and car-sharing programs, traditional automakers are feeling the heat, and are developing new partnerships and services to ensure they have a foothold in these growing markets. One example of this is a new car-sharing service announced by General Motors, called Maven. Maven is available in one city right now, but as Wired points out, it is GM’s bet on the future of the industry. GM has been busy as of late, announcing the new Bolt extended-range EV, buying what’s left of Uber-competitor Sidecar, and working with MobileEye for maps in autonomous cars. Oh yeah, and it is working with Lyft on a fleet of driverless cars. RELATED: Uber and Airbus Teaming up to Provide On-Demand Helicopter Flights
All this adds up to a company that has traditionally sold personal vehicles that wants to get its toes into the various ways people will be driving in the future. Now comes Maven, which will be available in the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, though it is slated to expand to more cities. The service is not as convenient as Uber or Lyft, but it is claimed to be the foundation of something bigger.
GM says roughly 5 million people currently use ride-sharing services, and that number could balloon to as much as 25 million by 2020. By that year, the cars that make up those fleets are expected to be largely autonomous. And thus the long view of GM’s Maven begins to take shape. According to GM President Dan Ammann, “We feel that we are very well-positioned as a company to be at the very forefront of this change in ownership model, change in mobility, particularly in the urban environment.”
RELATED: Google's Self-Driving Campus has Seriously Awesome Street Names
The first phase of Maven will be at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus. A fleet of 21 vehicles, made up of Malibus, Sparks, Tahoes and Volts will be available to students and faculty. Those taking part can use their smartphone to reserve a vehicle an then unlock and start the vehicle, finally setting the destination and heading out.
Maven joins pilot programs from Ford, BMW, Audi and others that are taking similar approaches. Like the others to their respective automakers, Maven is what GM believes is the future of the ownership-driver model in the decades to come. And just like Apple, Google, and Tesla, this is essentially a shared vision for the future of mobility.
RELATED: See more images of the all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt