General Motors Company on Thursday said that it will expand its Maven car sharing services to three more markets including Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. GM’s personal mobility brand, launched earlier this year, currently serves New York City, Ann Arbor, Mich.
GM is offering the Express Drive rental program in Chicago in a partnership with Lyft. Talking about GM’s plans to test self-driving Chevy Bolts within the next year on public roads using real Lyft customers, Brian Nichols writes in the Investorplace.com that that General Motors can increase its revenues by renting new vehicles to Lyft drivers. “Uber does not have a big partner for deploying this same technology, so there is a good chance that Lyft can steal some of its larger peer’s market share if the technology is implemented effectively, and safely, due to lower ride costs.”
General Motors is reportedly testing self-driving technology in the vehicles in San Francisco. SpiedBilde, which specializes in prototype vehicle photography, spotted a few Chevy Bolt EVs on San Francisco roads. According to Market Exclusive, Kyle Vogt, co-founder of Cruise Automation acquired by GM for $1 billion, was seen in one of those cars.
GM believes that Maven is “different from other car sharing services in the market because of its seamless smartphone integration technology.” Maven pricing, starts at $8 per hour, includes insurance and fuel. The company’s Maven+ service has more than 5,000 residents in New York and Chicago, while its Maven City program is available to more than 1,500 customers in Ann Arbor and Chicago. GM says its most popular rental vehicle is Chevrolet Volt.
Using the Maven smartphone app, users can reserve their choice of available Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick vehicles. In Chicago, registered customers can use the Maven app to reserve one of 30 vehicles at more than 15 sites throughout the city. Maven+ residential on-demand car sharing is currently available to residents of the Aqua luxury high-rise apartment community in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood.
Maven City’s pricing starts at $8 per hour including insurance and fuel for smaller cars, though a sports-utility vehicle goes for $14 per hour. The $8-per-hour rate is similar to pricing structures offered by ZipCar and Enterprise’s car-sharing service, Chicago Business reported.
General Motors Express Drive Program in Chicago
Another service available in Chicago is the Express Drive short-term rental program, which General Motors and Lyft launched in March this year. The program allows Lyft ride share service drivers to rent Chevrolet Equinox crossovers for $99 a week. The companies plan to expand the Express Drive to Boston, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, as well as many other metro areas throughout the year.
In Washington, D.C., Maven+ car sharing service is only available to residents of the Hepburn, a 195-unit luxury apartment community opening next month on the grounds of the Washington Hilton, located in the city’s exclusive Kalorama neighborhood. Maven City program will launched by the end of June for all qualifying D.C. residents, General Motors Company said.
Maven+ and Maven City will be offered in Boston this summer.
“Whether it’s driving to land the perfect job, meeting friends for a fun weekend or exploring the city, Maven enables our members to access transportation how they want it, when they want it,” stated Julia Steyn, GM vice president of urban mobility and Maven. “As we continue to expand into key cities, more customers will see how Maven can provide next-gen freedom by seamlessly connecting them with people and places that matter.”
General Motors To Compensate SUVs Owners For False Fuel Efficiency Claims
General Motors is likely to announce plans to compensate about 130000 individual owners of SUVs in the U.S. for inflated fuel economy labels, DNA India reported. The automaker last Friday said it temporarily halted sales of about 60,000 new 2016 US SUVs because the vehicles’ labels overstated their fuel efficiency. The publication reported, citing un named sources, that the company will soon announce a program to compensate owners for the difference in miles per gallon.
Shares of General Motors Company are trading down 1.56% in the morning trading session.