Car sharing

GM has launched Maven, its car sharing service. Of course, the writing on the wall: as soon as fully autonomous vehicle technology is commercially available, Maven will go driverless.

Ford’s Credit Link announced its program that encourages sharing of vehicles among three to six people interested in collectively signing a 24-month lease of a Ford vehicle.

And in case you missed it, WaiveCar launched in Santa Monica and Venice, Calif., with a fleet of 20 compact, four-door electric cars. All you need to borrow one is a credit card, a driver’s license, and a smartphone. Rentals are made via smartphone app, and there’s no need to pick up keys—the company unlocks vehicles remotely when a user books the car, and the keys are inside.  Even more innovative, however, is WaiveCar’s business model, in which vehicles are loaned out at no charge to drivers for the first two hours. Even insurance is included for free. WaiveCar makes money because its cars are covered in advertising. The sponsor at launch is the Google-backed Oscar Health Insurance Corp.  Could this be a sign of where driverless vehicles will be going? Free rides in exchange for advertising exposure, sharing of information?  Already, studies undertaken in the US are indicating that Americans are willing to share personal information in exchange for something they consider of value. Could free rides be one these values?

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