General Motors Co. has launched a car-sharing service that lets users reserve and unlock vehicles with their smartphones.
The service, called Maven, debuted Thursday in Ann Arbor, Mich., and will initially focus on serving students and faculty at the University of Michigan. GM vehicles are to be available at 21 spots throughout the city.
Users can rent a car through a free smartphone app, which is also used to unlock the vehicle, GM said.
The company said Maven would expand to additional cities later this year.
“With the launch of our car-sharing service through Maven, the strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft and building on our decades of leadership in vehicle connectivity through OnStar, we are uniquely positioned to provide the high level of personalized mobility services our customers expect,” GM President Dan Ammann said in a statement.
The launch of Maven comes days after the news that GM acquired the assets of ride-hailing company Sidecar Technologies Inc. The San Francisco company had shut down at the end of last year.
Also this month, GM invested $500 million in ride-hailing service Lyft. The automaker will also take a seat on Lyft’s board, and the two companies plan to collaborate on an autonomous on-demand network that would allow users to reserve a self-driving car much like how Lyft rides are called.