It also has quite a weird name: Maven.
Many carmakers are starting to hedge against a future where people no longer purchase vehicles, but rather rent them through car share services. Audi's example of this future involves apartment building rentals that come with the ability to take out one of the building's cars. We quite liked the idea of living in an apartment where we could take out an Audi Q7 to run errands, then take out the TT RS convertible on weekends. Cadillac also offers a similar service called Book, which basically allows you to lease its entire fleet of models.
Cadillac has run into some availability issues with Book, but that hasn't stopped parent company General Motors from trying a smililar type of program, called Maven. It gives people access to rental cars for an hourly rate, like Zipcar. We thought the name, Maven, was a bit strange, given the word means "an expert or connoisseur," so perhaps GM is targeting wealthy customers. The service does have premium options which allows rental for up to 28 days, including a dedicated parking space, insurance and $100 in the tank. According to Engadget, Maven users will also receive a "personalized walk-through of the vehicle" when the car is delivered.
Maven will only be available as a trial run in Los Angeles and San Fransisco. The locations are targeted at "entertainment and entrepreneurial communities," so we can tell that this isn't meant to be "an affordable" way for people to get around. Reportedly, the only cars available at launch will be a Chevrolet Volt or Tahoe, but the main website says there will also be a Cruise, Spark, Malibu, Regal, ATS, Yukon and Escalade available. Maven already has 25,000 customers who have reserved over 32,000 times and travelled over 80 million miles. Car rental programs like this may be starting to catch on, but we will get more excited when they spread to more than two cities, and two boring models. Bring on the Corvettes!