General Motors introduced Maven, a car-sharing service designed to attract people who would prefer not to own a car, but prefer not to use a ride-sharing service either.
Maven, which means ‘expert’ in Yiddish will begin with small fleets of autos in Ann Arbor, Chicago, New York, Frankfurt and Berlin. It will at first stay close to large cities and college campuses. GM will be testing the market for this service, with plans to expand to additional cities this year, although GM did not announce which cities or to what extent they would like to expand.
President of GM Dan Amman emphasized that this is a completely different service than Lyft Inc, a ride-sharing service that GM invested $500 million in. Ride-sharing allows people to call taxis; they do not need to drive themselves. Car-sharing customers use a smart-phone or other device to get access to cars and drive them themselves.
The use of a small car can be bought for as little as $6 per hour, while larger cars will go for about $12 per hour. Amman stated that today around the world there are about 5-6 million people who are utilizing some kind of car-sharing service. He expects the service to expand 4-5 times in the next five years.