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General Motors’ Maven Expands Car-Sharing Locations To Atlanta

General Motors' app-based Maven program is now in 17 cities across the U.S. and Canada following an alignment with Lyft in Atlanta as the auto brand seeks to expand the year-old car-sharing effort.

Just a month into General Motors’ car-sharing program Maven’s first anniversary, the automaker has added Atlanta as the latest location.

Atlanta is the 17th city to host GM’s experiment in car-sharing conjunction with Lyft Express Drive, the ride-hailing platform’s rental car business.

As concepts from self-driving cars to connected cars, along with the expansion of ride-hailing programs from Uber and Lyft, become more mainstream, automakers like GM have been racing to explore new business models.

The Transportation Business

Certainly, GM is heeding the warning that is often represented by the railroads of the Gilded Age losing their fortunes by forgetting they were in the transportation business, not the “train business,” when airplanes and cars changed the nature of travel and transport.

For the most part, 17 cities represents a significant investment. And GM has some stats to show that there has been a response to Maven in its first year. For example, Maven claims more than 20,000 members who have made more than 23,000 reservations.

In addition, Maven and Lyft Express Drive members have logged more than 61 million miles. The average Maven City trip is 121 miles and lasts more than 13 hours.

As a major driving city that has seen fairly slow adoption of Uber and Lyft services, Atlanta was a natural step for the Maven program.

“With cars right around the corner in Atlanta’s most walkable neighborhoods, there is now a Maven vehicle to meet the many different lifestyle needs of people living in the city,” said Julia Steyn, vice president, GM’s Urban Mobility and Maven, in a statement. “Atlanta’s commitment to urban mobility solutions makes it a great choice as the next Maven City car-sharing market.”

Millennial Drivers

Maven City members can reserve one of 50 vehicles at approximately 20 locations throughout the city by using the Maven app. Pricing starts at $8 per hour plus tax, and fuel and insurance costs are included. There is no monthly or application fee for Maven members.

The Maven vehicles also represent a showcase for positioning GM’s technology prowess, especially at a time when high-profile companies like Tesla are being viewed as the future of auto manufacturing and marketing. All Maven cars are “fully connected” with features users to personalize the entire experience.

Customers bring their digital lives into the vehicles through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, including contacts, favorites and maps.

Ultimately, Maven represents a key way to reach Millennials who have gravitated to car-sharing brands like ZipCar over the past few years.

And since Maven advisor support is available through OnStar for questions, roadside assistance and emergency response.

Maven City and Maven Home vehicles have the Guidance Package: All emergency services, in addition to routing services (turn-by-turn) and on-demand diagnostics services. WiFi has been loaded into vehicles and is complimentary as part of the reservation fee, a GM rep notes.

 Vehicles in the GM and Lyft Express Drive program have the Protections Package: Emergency services, roadside assistance, and mobile app products (Smart Driver, advanced diagnostics, etc.), the rep adds.

It can also offer similar deals to brands that have aligned with OnStar as well, something that should attract brands that seek to use geo-data to understand and target younger consumers on-the-go.