It’s a domain gaining an increasing amount of attention in the mobility sector. Car-sharing, private vehicle lending or renting and other initiatives to reduce the number of cars on the road: no one is against virtue. The automakers are certainly aware of these rumblings on the market, and many are trying to bring their solutions to the table.
Tesla, always an innovator, has plans to develop a system it calls the Tesla Network, which would allow owners of the brand’s vehicles to rent them out to other individuals. As of now, however, it intends to wait until level 4 and 5 autonomous driving technologies are fully developed, perhaps assuming that many owners who might be hesitant to let their cars be driven be others, will be ok with it if the car is doing the driving.
GM seems set to try to leap ahead of Tesla with its own, similar application. It wouldn’t be the first time the American automotive giant has tried to do just that to Elon Musk’s upstart company. You’ll recall that not long after the announcement of the coming Model 3, GM promised a quick launch of the Chevrolet Bolt, an electric car offering a range of some 400 km, similar to what Tesla was aiming at.
GM won’t be content to wait for self-driving technologies to advance further before moving ahead with its car-sharing service. The company is preparing to launch a pilot project in the San Francisco region, one that will enable car owners to rent out their vehicles via the automaker’s Maven car-sharing platform. This comes via anonymous sources as reported by the Bloomberg site.
The news does appear credible, especially when you consider that similar services (Turo and Getaround) are already up and running in that part of California.
Many will be watching closely to see the results of the pilot project. While everyone agrees that the ides of individual-to-individual car sharing is a good idea in principle, it’s still uncertain whether car owners will warm to the idea of entrusting their vehicles to complete strangers.