General Motors to launch Airbnb-style service for sharing your car
Pilot programs will launch in early summerBy William Gayde
Just like Uber revolutionized the ridesharing industry and Airbnb revolutionized the hospitality industry, General Motors is now hoping to revolutionize the car rental industry. They will be launching a peer-to-peer service that will allow car owners to list and rent out their vehicles when they aren't using them.
As originally reported by Bloomberg, pilot programs will begin in a few cities in early summer as part of GM's Maven business line. If successful, GM will attempt to grow this into its own separate business.
GM has declined to comment on the news since the plans are not public yet but it's likely that riders will share the revenue with GM. This isn't the first entry into the peer-to-peer auto market as startups like Turo and Getaround have been around for a few years but they are dwarfed in size by GM. 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 almost anyone could own a Tesla."
There are still many hurdles to overcome before this business model can take off. Liability and insurance questions still exist over who would be at fault in an accident as well as how this market would be regulated. The American Car Rental Association has lobbied heavily against the business model on the grounds that members will be able to avoid paying taxes that traditional companies have to pay. Cities like San Francisco are also pursuing legal action to regulate such companies.