General Motors said to plan an Airbnb for car sharing services
Southfield: General Motors Co. plans to start a pilot programme this summer that will enable car owners to rent out their vehicles when they aren’t using them, according to people aware of the issue.
The tests will begin in early summer through GM’s Maven car-sharing unit, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. GM vehicle owners will be able to put their cars on Maven’s platform for other drivers to rent and share the revenue with the automaker.
The pilot—which GM will try to grow into a full-fledged business if it’s successful—could mark another step forward in GM’s transition from manufacturer to mobility provider.
After GM’s stock stagnated for years as investors fretted over peaking car sales and Silicon Valley’s offensive on the auto industry, the shares rose to a record high in October as its self-driving car plans and services like Maven gained traction with investors.
A spokesman for Detroit-based GM declined to comment.
GM’s Maven unit rents vehicles to drivers, including customers looking for short-term wheels. Other firms already do with cars what Airbnb Inc. has done for realty: allow drivers to lend their vehicles to defray the cost of ownership or make extra income. Turo and Getaround are two bigger names in the space, though GM dwarfs both upstarts with its market value of $53 billion. Tesla has hinted at a future peer-to-peer sharing network, though the vision CEO Elon Musk laid out in July 2016 alludes to a service using fully self-driving cars.