GM is said to be in process of piloting a new peer-to-peer car rental service. The service will be launched under the automaker’s mobility brand Maven and will let owners of GM vehicles to rent their cars to other users. Currently, Maven relies on the classical model of short-term rental of its own GM fleet.
GM continues its attempts to diversify its business models. Recently, Maven also branched out into all-in rentals for service economy via Maven Gig.
Texas city replaces public buses with ride-sharing vans
Arlington, Texas is replacing its public transportation buses with ride-sharing vans. The city will be deploying 10 vans to the downtown area, residents will be able to hail the vans using their smartphones. Start-up Via, a partner of Mercedes-Benz, will be providing the vans and the service.
The service will be subsidized by the city, costing passengers $3.00 per ride. According to the mayor of the city subsidizing ride-sharing vans will cost the city much less than alternative public-transit projects. As part of the project, Via will be providing the usage data to the city to help the administration improve transportation planning.
Via was founded in 2013 and since then has teamed up with Mercedes to launch an on-demand shuttle service in several European cities.
Uber patents AV to pedestrian communication system
Uber has demonstrated a vision how future self-driving cars will be communicating with pedestrians. Currently, most people are used to communication cues from human drivers, like nod, wave of a hand or flashing of lights. Uber proposes wrapping self-driving cars in flashing lights, sound and projection systems that will communicate the intent of the autonomous vehicle. The patent application shows flashing arrows on the side-view mirrors of a vehicle, a project that will display a virtual crosswalk in the front of the vehicle and a pop-up virtual driver.
According to the company, the proposal is more of a framework to develop future communication rather than set rules. Google has also proposed similar ideas with light-up “walk” or “don’t walk” signals displayed on a vehicle’s body.