How General Motors Is Expanding Its Shared Mobility Project Maven

The infrastructure our team has built for Maven City and Maven Home car sharing is also providing valuable insights to inform the next stage of mobility, says General Motors' Peter Kosak.

In less than two years, General Motors’ app-based Maven program has spread across 17 cities and extended into three branches: the general car-sharing option Maven City, followed by Maven Home, which is a ridesharing program for residential buildings and communities, and Maven Gig, which launched in May to provide cars for independent freelancers working as couriers for on-demand platforms.

The buildup of the Maven shared mobility concept touches on the rapid changes that automakers have been racing to make as the notion of transportation itself is evolving. From self-driving cars to connected cars, plus the expansion of ride-hailing programs from Uber and Lyft becoming more mainstream, automakers like GM have been racing to explore new business models.

We checked in with Peter Kosak, executive director of Urban Active Solutions for General Motors, to get a sense of what’s currently shaping its technological vision generally and its Maven brand specifically.

GeoMarketing: How would you describe Maven’s expansion this past year (both in terms of cities and drivers)?

Peter Kosak: Maven is a healthy startup within General Motors. In 17 months (announced January 2016) the team has launched a company, brand and three consumer products: . Maven is active in 17 cities in North America with at least one product offering: Ann Arbor, Mich.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Jersey City, N.J.; Los Angeles; Nashville, New York City; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz., San Diego; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Approximately 50,000 members have driven more than 150 million miles and we are seeing strong early adoption and utilization in the markets.

What are the main growth drivers of Maven’s business and how do you expect that to change (or simply continue and accelerate) in the next few years?

The notion of transportation as a service is beginning to take hold, and Maven has positioned itself at the forefront of that conversation. Maven started as a service tailored to luxury residential properties in New York. Residential developers in major cities are looking to provide amenities beyond, say, a gym or a coffee house, and those developers are looking increasingly to offer transportation.

Maven Home already has a business model and infrastructure in place to provide open car sharing for consumers and businesses.

Maven Gig is also playing an important role for the core business of General Motors. In addition to exposing drivers and passengers to the GM portfolio, Maven Gig is helping to manage residual values by creating a new lifecycle for low-mileage, off-rental and off-lease vehicles that otherwise would have gone to auctions.

Maven continues to make progress toward previously announced plans related to an integrated, on-demand autonomous network for ridesharing.

What are some of goals and priorities Maven has over the next six months into 2018?

During the past 17 months the team has been hyper-focused on launching markets and new products.

Maven will continue to expand to additional cities in the future but the focus for the near-term will be on continuing to grow our footprint in existing markets. We announced previously that Maven Gig will expand to Los Angeles in the coming months and we expect it to continue to grow and expand to other cities.

At this time, there are no additional cities to announce for any of the three products.

How will the general idea of personal mobility/shared mobility impact dealerships and car buying?

General Motors, at its core, is a company that manufactures and sells automobiles. The core business model will remain intact.

However, Maven and the notion of personal/shared mobility is helping GM to reimagine a future where GM is the leader in the share of miles driven, regardless of traditional vehicle ownership, car sharing or ridesharing.

The infrastructure our team has built for Maven City and Maven Home car sharing is also providing valuable insights to inform the next stage of mobility.

Is there any relationship or connection or influence between car buying and personal/shared mobility? That is, are Maven drivers likely to become car owners, ultimately, or do they largely represent a completely separate and new market from car buyers?
Car sharing and ride sharing are complementary to ownership.

Maven is practical for residents of big cities who may not own a personal vehicle but still have unmet transportation needs that go beyond public transit. Maven City car sharing is providing options for this demographic and also helping GM to reach a new audience: millennials. Nearly 80 percent of our members are millennials- and they are coming from cities where GM typically has low market share.

Although a 25-year-old living in Manhattan may not have a need to purchase a vehicle today, that person may use Maven to reserve a new Chevrolet Tahoe for short trips to big box stores, or a Cadillac XT5 for date night in the city. Then when it comes time to move to the suburbs and start a family that person will, hopefully, remember a positive experience in a GM vehicle and could become a customer for life.

Peter Kosak, executive director of Urban Active Solutions for General Motors

Is there any relationship between Maven and connected home/smart home digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, etc…?

There is no integration between Maven and these services at this time.

Does Maven formally work with any artificial intelligence platforms to develop programs and marketing for drivers?

Not at this time.

Does Maven work with any third-party location intelligence/mapping platforms?

GM has more than 20 years of experience delivering connectivity and personal service to our customers through OnStar.

Maven leverages OnStar advisors and turn-by-turn directions to enhance the car sharing experience. Additionally, all Maven vehicles come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing members to bring their personal lives and apps into the vehicle during the reservation.