General Motors is off to a prolific year in terms of connected-car and ride-sharing services. After announcing a partnership with Lyft and buying Sidecar, the automaker is now launching Maven, a new car-sharing app giving customers access to highly personalized, on-demand mobility services.
The global Maven team includes more than 40 employees from the connected car technology industry as well as ride- and car-sharing professionals from Google, Zipcar, and Sidecar.
How does Maven work? Customers use the app to search for and reserve a vehicle by location or car type and unlock the vehicle with their smartphone. The app also enables remote functions such as starting, heating or cooling, and more.
Right now, Maven is only available to 100,000 people in Ann Arbor, initially focusing on serving faculty and students at the University of Michigan. Other U.S. cities will follow later in 2016 including Chicago and New York.
Various programs are running on GM campuses in the U.S., Germany, and China to refine and test future Maven commercial offerings.