Those who drive a General Motors Co. vehicle can use an OnStar service to rent out their under-used vehicles, permitting potential renters to unlock the doors using their smart phones. GM announced that it has partnered with online car-sharing marketplace RelayRides, which was launched in Boston in June 2010.
OnStar spokesman Vijay Iyer said that at the end of last year, GM's venture-capital arm made an investment in the company. In-vehicle service company OnStar is famous for getting drivers connected to live operators who could offer directions or call emergency help when there’s an accident.
RelayRides developers got access to several OnStar services such as features that can find the vehicle and remotely unlock the doors. The doors can be unlocked by renters by using their phones or by responding to text messages.
In a release, GM said that those who own Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac cars and trucks could earn "hundreds of dollars per month" by utilizing RelayRides. However, drivers without OnStar can rent their cars and trucks via the RelayRides service by directly swapping keys with the renter. Google Ventures (Google Inc.'s venture capital arm); August Capital; and Shasta Ventures are the financiers of RelayRides.
"General Motors, through OnStar, and RelayRides have joined forces to create an entirely new mobility solution for U.S. drivers interested in more affordable, sustainable and collaborative automobile options,” said Nick Pudar vice president OnStar Strategy and New Business Development. "Our exclusive relationship with RelayRides provides an exciting new choice: the first automobiles to run on collaborative consumption."