General Motors is bringing their personal mobility brand Maven to Canada. The Maven car sharing service will launch in Canada with vehicles available in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, for members of the Communitech Hub.
The service will start in Kitchener with five cars: a Buick Encore, Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu and Spark; and a GMC Yukon. The vehicles will include OnStar with 4G LTE hotspot, and a remote start that will let users heat or cool the vehicle for up to eight minutes before their reservation starts. The use of the vehicle includes gas and insurance.
GM launched Maven in the US 11 months ago, and the service now has 19,000 members in 16 US cities. The cars are also available on GM campuses in Brazil and Australia. The service isn’t an autonomous car service, ride sharing company, or crowd-sourced taxi service, although GM has partnerships with both Uber and Lyft. It’s a short-term car-sharing service like Zipcar where members reserve a vehicle with an hourly or daily rate for temporary use. There is no key required, and users with a reservation can just walk up to the cars, then open and start them with their smartphone. The car can automatically import their contacts and maps using the app and the car’s connected services.
For now, the service will only be available for members of Communitech Hub, a technology company incubator located in the Tannery District of downtown Kitchener. The Hub is home to a number of tech startups, including GM’s own 2908 lab which is developing ride sharing and smartphone applications.
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