Maven to Be ‘Building Block’ for GM Autonomous Carshare

The launch of a monthly subscription carshare service earlier this month at General Motors Co.’s Maven unit is just one “building block” of a GM self-driving car network, Mobility Buzz has learned.

General Motors launched its carsharing service, Maven, last year, which allows customers to rent a GM vehicle using a mobile phone in exchange for a membership fee and a fee charged depending on the vehicle used. On March 3, the company introduced a “deluxe” service at Maven through which customers can rent a Chevrolet vehicle for up to 28 days.

So, where do autonomous vehicles fit into the equation?

Maven Reserve is “another building block in the foundation of what will lead to something bigger for us,” Bob Tiderington, Maven’s senior manager for vehicle sharing, told Mobility Buzz.

While Tiderington would not offer specifics regarding Maven’s plans to use GM’s autonomous vehicles for its subscription carshare program, it appears likely the two will team up soon.

“We are housed under the same roof as GM’s autonomous vehicle program,” he said, and in June, Maven and GM autonomous vehicle unit will move into offices located down the hall from one another.

“If you think about it — literally and figuratively — both pieces will be housed together and working together,” he said. “We definitely see it [GM autonomous vehicles for carshare] coming to fruition down the road.”

In December, General Motors began testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in Michigan, according to the OEM’s website. GM also began production of the next generation of its autonomous test vehicles at its Orion Township assembly plant earlier this year. In June 2016, GM began testing autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs on the public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale.

As for Maven Reserve, the program includes a dedicated parking space for the duration of the reservation and a personalized walk-through of the vehicle. Insurance and $100 worth of gas are also included. Maven Reserve, as the program is called, allows members to select from wider range of pricing options, including hourly to daily or monthly.

The service has been rolled out in San Francisco and Los Angeles, with further expansion on the horizon, Tiderington said.

“We offer Maven in multiple cities across the U.S., and it could make sense [to expand Maven Reserve] into some places like Chicago from a Midwest perspective, or like Washington, D.C., he said. “We are taking a wait-and-see-approach in the two cities we launched in, and if there is certain activity and principles that we can launch in other cities, we will do the same thing.”

GM has been particularly focused on subscription models this year, as evidence by the OEM’s similar service Cadillac by Book. Under that program, the automaker allows customers to get access to a Cadillac brand vehicle with insurance and other costs taken care of for a flat monthly fee.

Those interested in learning more about OEMs transforming the transportation industry, should join us at the second annual Auto Finance Innovation 2017 conference, May 17-18 at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. Visit www.autofinanceinnovation.com and to learn more.

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