GM debuts car-sharing, 'personal mobility' brand

General Motors said Thursday it was launching a US car-sharing service under a new "personal mobility" brand dubbed Maven.

GM said Maven, which will compete with services such as Zipcar, was operating in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with the initial focus on serving the University of Michigan campus.

It will be expanded to major US cities later this year, GM said in a statement.

The US auto giant said Maven will be a key part of its strategy to meet evolving transportation needs in a more tech-connected society.

GM this month previously announced an investment in ride-sharing Lyft, and the acquisition of assets from another sector rival, Sidecar.

"GM is at the forefront of redefining the future of personal mobility," said GM president Dan Ammann.

"With the launch of our car-sharing service through Maven, the strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft, and building on our decades of leadership in vehicle connectivity through OnStar, we are uniquely positioned to provide the high level of personalized our customers expect today and in the future."

GM said Maven will launch car-sharing services for Chicago residents in the first quarter of 2016 and is expanding its existing program in New York which had been dubbed Let's Drive NYC.

On the Maven website, GM was offering mid-size vehicles for $8 an hour or $56 a day, including fuel costs. As with similar services, customers use smartphones to unlock and lock the cars.

The automaker also has initiatives for peer-to-peer car-sharing in Germany, China and on US college campuses.

"Maven provides on-demand access, choice and ease of use," said Julia Steyn, GM vice president for .

"With more than 25 million customers around the world projected to use some form of shared mobility by 2020, Maven is a key element of our strategy to changing ownership models in the automotive industry."


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© 2016 AFP

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