This summer, GM may test a carsharing program by expanding Maven

General Motors Planning Airbnb-like Program

General Motors Planning Airbnb-like Program

The program would apparently be only open to GM owners, and the company would take a piece of the revenue.

This would be a variation on the Maven approach, which has focused thus far on on-demand short-term rentals of GM-owned vehicles, similar to how Zipcar or Enterprise CarShare works.

If GM's service goes ahead, it could potentially add millions of vehicle sharing opportunities to the market overnight, which is bad news for companies such as Uber or Lyft.

General Motors Co (GM) plans to start a pilot program this summer that would enable auto owners to rent out their vehicles when they are not using them, people familiar with the matter said. While startups like Turo and Getaround do exist in this space, no existing companies has the clout or resources or reach of GM.

The Bloomberg report notes that by launching a peer-to-peer service, Maven would get access to more vehicles without its parent having to carry more assets on its balance sheet. The company raised $92 million in a September funding round led by Germany's Daimler and South Korea's SK Holdings, which valued Turo at about $700 million. Getaround raised $45 million last April, with Toyota Motor among the companies buying in.

Peer-to-peer businesses could make more sense than car-sharing services that require owning and maintaining vehicles, said Alexandre Marian, a director in the automotive and industrial practice at consultant AlixPartners.

"Carmakers are preparing for disruption, so they are experimenting with different models", Marian said by telephone.

Tesla Inc has hinted at a peer-to-peer sharing network, although the vision CEO Elon Musk laid out in July 2016 alludes to a service using fully self-driving cars.

As GM looks to grow its Maven unit, it's plowing ahead with self-driving at its Cruise Automation unit in San Francisco. According to Bloomberg, GM will do a pilot program this summer that will allow them to rent out their vehicles for personal use through Maven.

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