GM, RelayRides using OnStar to open up peer-to-peer car-sharing
7 October 2011
General Motors has formally established its first-ever car-sharing gig by signing a deal with peer-to-peer specialist RelayRides.
GM's head of business development initiatives, Bob Tiderington, remarked:
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.
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.
\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.