In just a few months, GM will reportedly launch a new pilot program that will enable GM owners to rent out their vehicles to interested drivers.
If GM's service goes ahead, it could potentially add millions of auto sharing opportunities to the market overnight, which is bad news for companies such as Uber or Lyft. The Maven platform would be utilised for the new service, the report said.
Assuming the pilot program is successful, GM plans to move forward to make the service into a viable business. It also offers rentals for drivers who work for ride-hailing services such as Lyft.
Up to this point, GM has owned those cars.
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This program would only be open to GM owners, and GM would take a slice of the revenue.
The Bloomberg report notes that by launching a peer-to-peer service, Maven would get access to more vehicles without its parent having to carry more assets on its balance sheet.
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. Turo has about 5 million users signed up, with 200,000 cars available to rent.
The firm raised US$92 million in a funding round in September a year ago led by Germany's Daimler AG and South Korea's SK Holdings Co, which valued Turo at about US$700 million. Toyota is one of the companies that have backed Getaround, a similar startup.
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Just like Uber revolutionized the ridesharing industry and Airbnb revolutionized the hospitality industry, General Motors is now hoping to revolutionize the vehicle rental industry.
"Carmakers are preparing for disruption, so they are experimenting with different models", Marian said by telephone.
Tesla has envisioned a peer-to-peer service that allows owners to make money from their vehicle while it would otherwise be wasting time in the garage or in a parking lot. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also expressed interest in the idea which he believes will "dramatically [lower] the true cost of ownership to the point where nearly anyone could own a Tesla".
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