GM or General Motors has been in the news quite a bit lately. After having given $500 million to Lyft, which the company stated would be used for developing autonomous cars, then buying Uber rival Sidecar earlier this week. Now they have launched their own car-sharing service, which is being piloted in Michigan. Starting in Ann Arbor, MI the service will have 21 on-demand GM vehicles that can be rented. Ann Arbor is about 35-40 miles from GM's headquarters in downtown Detroit. GM had already started a car-sharing service in New York, which was named "Let's Drive NYC", but plans are to rebrand it to Maven when it launches in Chicago and NYC later this year.
These vehicles from GM that are part of Maven will also have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. Which isn't a huge surprise given that almost all of GM's models have support for both systems starting with the 2016 models. And having support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is a great thing for car rental services like this. As it allows the customer to have their own infotainment system with their own music, destinations and such. It just makes the whole experience that much better. The vehicles will also provide OnStar, SiriusXM Satellite Radio as well as AT&T's 4G LTE service.
We're not sure if car-sharing will do better than ride-sharing, but it's something we'll find out pretty soon. Thanks to GM's investment in Lyft, drivers for Lyft are able to rent cars from Maven to drive people around in. That's if they don't want to use their own car to drive others around. Something that would be good for both Lyft and GM, as it gets GM's Maven out there but also means that Lyft will have brand new cars all the time. With all of these ride-sharing companies popping up from Silicon Valley, Detroit or the Motor City, is looking to compete with Silicon Valley. As they are the home to the three American auto-makers - Ford, Chrysler and GM. Let's see how well this competitive environment can thrive in the future with autonomous cars and autonomous taxi's as well.