GM hits reverse with Maven carsharing as it closes service in eight cities

General Motors (GM) is set to shutter its Maven carsharing service in almost half of the cities in which it operates.

“We’re shifting Maven’s offerings to concentrate on markets in which we have the strongest current demand and growth potential,” the company said in a statement delivered to the Wall Street Journal on Monday, May 20.

Maven will end its service in “the next few months” in 8 of the 17 North American cities where it currently operates, including Chicago and Boston.

Although a full breakdown is yet to be revealed, GM was able to confirm that Maven’s app-based carsharing service will continue to be offered in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Toronto.

Maven competes with the likes of Zipcar and Car2Go, offering city folks a variety of GM cars at hourly and daily rates. Digital Trends recently tried it out.

As of June 2018, Maven said it had just over 145,000 people signed up to its service, with more than 290 million miles driven.

Automakers are increasingly keen to explore a multitude of new mobility platforms in the hunt for additional revenue streams. But the highly competitive environment is evidently proving too much for some players.

As part of its own expansion efforts, GM and Maven launched a peer-to-peer service in October 2018 that let car owners rent out their vehicles to others in a transaction that gave the company a 40-percent cut of the fees, with the rest going to the owner. It also offers short-term vehicle rentals to Uber and Lyft drivers for their ridesharing work via a service called Maven Gig. It’s not yet clear to what extent — if at all — these services will be affected by the ending of Maven’s carsharing service in the listed cities.

While GM is continuing to back Maven, the American car giant is also investing heavily in the development of self-driving cars in partnership with Cruise Automation, and has an eye on launching a robo-taxi service by the end of 2019. Waymo has been operating a limited robo-taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona, since the end of last year.

A recent study named GM Cruise, Waymo, and Ford as the three companies most likely to launch large-scale commercial services using autonomous vehicles. The study examined 10 criteria — including technical capability and business-plan viability — to reach its findings.

Home Theater

AT&T’s WarnerMedia streaming service: Everything we know about it so far

AT&T is joining the streaming video environment with a service that will bundle HBO, WarnerMedia cable channels, and Warner Bros.' feature films on a single platform. Here's everything we know about the WarnerMedia streaming service so far.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Cars

Fiat Chrysler is the latest to partner with autonomous-tech specialist Aurora

Fiat Chrysler and Silicon Valley startup Aurora are joining forces to develop self-driving technology for commercial services, marking the latest in a string of similar collaborations between automakers and tech specialists.
Smart Home

Walmart will put your grocery order in your refrigerator when you’re not home

How do you like the idea of having your online grocery order delivered to your refrigerator when you're not in? Walmart is launching such a service in the fall, though Amazon has offered a similar delivery option for a while now.
Cars

Ford recalls 1.3 million Explorer and F-150 vehicles over safety issues

Ford announced multiple safety recalls on Wednesday, June 12, the largest of which affects 1.2 million Explorer SUVs over an issue with the suspension that has the potential to affect steering control.
Cars

Here’s why BMW mechanics now carry smartglasses in their tool chest

BMW technicians in the United States have started wearing smartglasses, and it's not because they're shooting alien ships between oil changes. They use augmented reality technology to access workshop manuals.
Product Review

The last American midsize plug-in hybrid is being squeezed out of existence

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can’t catch a break. Ford is planning to discontinue production next year, but looming tariffs could spell doom for an otherwise comfortable and very economically sensible sedan.
Cars

Watch as Volkswagen’s ID R racer wins the ultimate EV bragging rights

The Volkswagen ID R has set a lap record for electric cars at Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife. The electric race car's lap time of 6 minutes, 5.33 seconds beat the previous record by 40 seconds.
Cars

Will Detroit be the ultimate test for Argo A.I.’s self-driving Ford?

Ford-backed Argo A.I. revealed its third-generation autonomous prototype in Detroit. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the car is fitted with technology that sees better and further, thinks faster, and is more comfortable to ride in.
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Cars

Volvo has created an autonomous truck that looks like a sports car

Volvo’s autonomous truck, called Vera, is about to start work at a Swedish port. The vehicle has a modest top speed of 25 mph and features a striking design that makes it look as if the usual cab has been swapped for a sports car.
Cars

Florida allows autonomous cars to drive on its roads without human supervision

Florida governor Ron DeSantis passed a law that establishes a legal framework for self-driving cars to operate within the state. It allows car and tech companies to test self-driving cars without a human operator behind the wheel.
Cars

New Toyota tech will automatically shut off engines, apply parking brakes

Toyota is launching two new safety features for the 2020 model year. One will automatically shut off a car's engine when stationary, and the other will automatically shift into park and apply the parking brake to prevent rollaways.
Cars

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.