General Motors intends to adapt its OnStar tech to facilitate peer-to-peer car sharing through RelayRides. With OnStar in their vehicle, owners wishing to join the RelayRides car-sharing program will no longer have to install a separate device that allows entry and use of the vehicle.We could stand on the sidelines and watch or we could choose to participate and try to make it into a favorable business model, which in this particular case, we have.
When the peer-to-peer scheme kicks off in early 2012, all General Motors vehicles built after 2010 and equipped with OnStar will be peer-to-peer-ready, says Tiderington. That's approximately 1.7 million vehicles that could transform into peer-to-peer automobiles overnight, at least in theory.
The breakthrough here is that RelayRides will no longer have to equip participating vehicles with an add-on device that lets a renter access it with a membership card. With OnStar, the service can be turned on with no more than a couple of movements and clicks of a mouse.
Millions of eligible vehicles will be able to participate and earn money for their owners
DETROIT – General Motors and RelayRides, the world's first peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace, today announced an exclusive relationship that will allow millions of GM vehicle owners to leverage the OnStar system to rent out their idle cars through the RelayRides marketplace.
The program, which will launch in early 2012, is GM's first large-scale involvement in carsharing and is aimed at making it easier for those without a vehicle to access temporary, affordable and reliable transportation in a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac.
RelayRides allows vehicle owners to choose to rent out their idle vehicles, with the owner controlling the rates and availability of the car. RelayRides provides an online marketplace and a $1 million insurance policy to make the transaction safe and convenient.
Through innovative technology integration, RelayRides will leverage OnStar to allow RelayRides borrowers to unlock GM cars with their mobile phones. For vehicles that are not OnStar enabled, RelayRides must install a small device in the car to provide convenient access to borrowers. The integration makes all eligible OnStar vehicles immediately "RelayRides ready" without having to install additional hardware.
"We're using technology to make both our older and newest models carshare ready and available for those owners who choose to participate in carsharing," said Stephen Girsky, GM vice chairman. "Our goal is to find ways to broaden our customer reach, reduce traffic congestion in America's largest cities and address urban mobility concerns."
The program initially will promote the relationship through various events and demonstrations in California to showcase GM's OnStar and RelayRides technology, and will feature Chevrolet vehicles, including the Volt extended-range electric vehicle. Participation in the RelayRides carsharing program is voluntary.
"RelayRides has always worked toward providing the safest, most advanced, peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace, where neighbors can help out one another by making their frequently unused car available to those who live nearby," said RelayRides Chief Executive Officer André Haddad. "With the new GM relationship, RelayRides can leverage the OnStar technology to make carsharing even more convenient, with nothing more than a mobile app. Carsharing has never been easier."
Founded in June 2010, RelayRides is currently available in San Francisco and Boston, and plans to strategically expand to U.S. areas that demonstrate high consumer demand.
RelayRides is pioneering the ability to reach various population densities in a more spontaneous and hassle-free manner. According to Innovative Mobility Research, carsharing in North America has grown from 400,000 users in 2009 to 640,000 in July 2011. A study from Frost & Sullivan projects carsharing will have an estimated 4.4 million users by 2016.
RelayRides will leverage OnStar technology through a mobile application to allow customers to check for available vehicles, make a online reservation online as well as check future reservations, locate their reserved vehicle via GPS and lock and unlock the vehicle, all through their smart phone.
"Our experience in mobile app development will be a benefit to RelayRides as they develop their customer app," said Nick Pudar, vice president of Planning and Business Development, OnStar. "Using OnStar's technology will help make the carsharing rental process easy and safe for customers, and avoid the hassle of installation of additional equipment on their vehicles."
This RelayRides mobile application is planned for early 2012.
General Motors Ventures LLC is in advanced discussions with RelayRides about an investment in the company as part of GM's overall commitment to addressing urban mobility issues.
About General Motors
General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 208,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. The global Chevrolet brand celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2011. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.
OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of connected safety and security solutions, value-added mobility services and advanced information technology. Available on more than 40 MY 2011 GM models, OnStar is now also available for installation on most other vehicles on the road through a new retail product called OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle). OnStar FMV has been awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal. The OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App is a recipient of the 2011 Edison Award for Best New Product in the Remote Driving Aids segment. OnStar safely connects its more than six million customers, in the U.S., Canada and China, in ways never thought possible. More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.
RelayRides is the world's peer-to-peer carsharing marketplace. RelayRides enables car owners to make money while providing those in need of a car with affordable access to one. The company backs its service with a $1 million insurance policy and features proprietary, best-in-class technology for a convenient, secure and smooth exchange. RelayRides is a venture-funded company backed by Google Ventures, August Capital and Shasta Ventures. More information about RelayRides and its service is available at: http://www.RelayRides.com. To learn more about the RelayRides-GM relationship, please visit http://relayrides.com/gm.