General Motors is partnering with San Francisco-based car-sharing service RelayRides to aid GM owners lease out their idle automobiles. This is GM's first venture into automobile sharing. Established in June 2010, RelayRides is doing business in San Francisco and Boston, enabling car owners to rent their idle units through an online marketplace.
The owner regulates the prices and accessibility to the automobile. On the other hand, the company gives online accessibility and a $1 million insurance coverage to make the deal hassle-free and secure for borrowers. Beginning early next year, owners of GM cars who are OnStar subscribers can give borrowers access to their automobiles using RelayRides' planned smart phone app.
RelayRides customers now have to set up a remote-unlock gadget inside their cars to grant borrowers access to the vehicles. GM Ventures, the automaker's venture-capital unit, is in advanced talks relating to the acquisition of an equity stake in RelayRides, the vehicle manufacturer revealed.
GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky commented that they are utilizing technology to make both the company's older and newest models ready and available for those who choose to participate in the car sharing scheme. He added that their goal is to find ways to widen their customer reach, address urban mobility concerns, and reduce traffic congestion in the biggest cities in America.
In North America, vehicle sharing has expanded to 640,000 customers in July from 400,000 customers in 2009, as reported by Innovative Mobility Research. It is predicted to increase to around 4. 4 million customers by 2016, research has revealed.
In August, Ford Motor Co. introduced intentions to supply Zipcar Inc. with 1,000 vehicles to be used in Zipcar's college car-sharing fleets. Ford broadened the Zipcar alliance on Tuesday with a program that gives $300,000 in grants and Zipcar driving credits to students. Also, Toyota Motor Corp. offers Zipcar with a few Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicles in Boston, San Francisco, and Portland, Ore.