GM's Maven launches car sharing option in Detroit, Ann Arbor

Nora Naughton
The Detroit News

Maven Gig, one of several sharing options, provides drivers access to vehicles on a weekly rental basis, to maximize their gigs in a freelance economy.

General Motors Co.'s Maven car-sharing platform is rolling out a peer-to-peer option in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Chicago.

Owners of model-year 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicles can make money on their cars when not in use by enrolling in the peer-to-peer program through Maven.

GM vehicle owners looking to list their vehicle on the Maven app will need to go through a short "onboarding" process. A Maven technician installs a device in the car that makes it compatible with app and allows access for potential renters.

The new Maven program works a little bit like Airbnb for cars, allowing owners to put their vehicles up for rent, setting their own hourly or daily pricing and collecting a portion of the revenue from the rental.

"Across the board, we're seeing the sharing economy gaining ground," said Megan Stooke, Maven's chief marketing and growth officer. "Airbnb is obviously in the lodging space, but it's not just them. Your car is usually your second-most expensive asset — or your most expensive if you're not a homeowner — and it sits idle over 90 percent of the time. Sharing actually gives an owner the opportunity to offset those ownership costs."

A smartphone displays the Maven app, a General Motors car-sharing service.

For users looking to borrow a peer-to-peer vehicle, the experience remains largely the same. They can locate an available vehicle and reserve it in the app, but those vehicles in the new peer-to-peer program will be labeled as "peer."

After a short beta period in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Chicago, Maven plans to roll out the new sharing option in additional U.S. markets where the car-sharing program already operates.

GM launched its Maven car-sharing service in January 2016 as the company's "personal mobility brand." Since then, Maven has seen some 180,000 reservations, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Maven already offers a variety of sharing options, including the traditional hourly, daily or monthly urban car sharing platform, a university campus program and Maven Gig for rideshare and delivery drives.

“Maven is a platform designed for sharing and we’ve proven demand exists,” Julia Steyn, GM's vice president of urban mobility and Maven. “In this beta, we are excited to offer GM owners the opportunity to capitalize on this demand and earn income by listing their vehicles.”