GM planning peer-to-peer vehicle rental

GM planning peer-to-peer vehicle rental

Vehicle sales that seem to be peaking and technological advances have led the company to think outside the box, and that's inspired thoughts that the auto giant is transitioning from manufacturer to mobility provider.

Maven has been running a vehicle rental program in select cities across North America, with Toronto being the only included Canadian city.

According to Bloomberg, GM will do a pilot program this summer that will allow them to rent out their vehicles for personal use through Maven.

Just like Uber revolutionized the ridesharing industry and Airbnb revolutionized the hospitality industry, General Motors is now hoping to revolutionize the vehicle rental industry.

A spokesman for Detroit-based GM declined to comment.

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This summer Maven will start testing a new peer-to-peer car-sharing option that will allow users to add cars to Maven's platform for other drivers to rent.

Start-ups Turo and Getaround are two bigger names in the space, although GM dwarfs both upstarts with its market value of nearly US$53 billion. Turo has about 5 million users signed up, with 200,000 cars available to rent. Carmakers can make this model work because they have huge networks of vehicle owners, he said.

Tesla Inc has hinted at a peer-to-peer sharing network, although the vision CEO Elon Musk laid out in July 2016 alludes to a service using fully self-driving cars. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also expressed interest in the idea which he believes will "dramatically [lower] the true cost of ownership to the point where nearly anyone could own a Tesla". Cities like San Francisco are also pursuing legal action to regulate such companies. Cruise Automation, GM's driverless auto unit, has said it will test self-driving cars in New York City this year.

GM's Maven division already provides vehicles to interested users in select areas, but those cars are wholly owned by GM and can only be borrowed in 28-day increments. GM hasn't yet decided whether to use Cruise's app, a new invention or a partner like Lyft for the planned autonomous-ride business or if they would use Maven or another marketing name, the people said.

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