General Motors to launch Airbnb-type vehicle service, report says

GM planning peer-to-peer car rental - report

General Motors has a plan that will allow auto owners to rent their vehicles out to complete strangers according to sources claiming to be familiar with the matter. In essence, GM owners would be able to add their vehicle to Maven and have people rent it. Maven would collect the fees and share some of the money with the vehicle owner.

With the new form of Maven it is unclear whether only GM vehicles will be eligible or if it will be open to all vehicles and manufacturers like Turo and Getaround. Maven is already operating a program that rents vehicles directly to drivers. Maven also has a program that gets cars into the hands of drivers for Uber, Lyft, and food delivery firms. This new model, dubbed "Airbnb for your Car" by Bloomberg, would increase the size of GM's carsharing fleet, without the additional operational costs.

Start-ups Turo and Getaround are two bigger names in the space, although GM dwarfs both upstarts with its market value of nearly US$53 billion. As Bloomberg notes, the number of cars listed on Turo have tripled to 200,000 in the past two years while the service now boasts around five million users.

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.

The peer-to-peer sharing model does have its challenges.

A company spokesperson said there was nothing to announce at this time about peer-to-peer rentals, but didn't entirely reject the possibility either, instead saying, "Maven is always looking for ways to remove barriers to sharing".

As GM looks to grow its Maven unit, it's plowing ahead with self-driving at its Cruise Automation unit in San Francisco.

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