Working Together Toward More Sustainable, Livable Cities

Guest post by Alex Keros, Smart Cities Chief at GM Urban Mobility/Maven
Mar 7, 2019 1:30 PM ET
Blog

The pace of transportation technology development is opening the door to a broader array of mobility and partnership options. In parallel, perceptions toward personal car ownership are shifting, especially in urban environments. These trends afford us the opportunity to reexamine the way people are moving through their community, and leverage technology to help make that movement easier, safer and more reliable.

Re-imagining our urban landscapes means healthy, creative dialogues across all stakeholders—starting with people and leveraging the expertise in governments, companies and non-profits. At Maven, GM’s urban mobility solution, we believe companies should be playing an active role to support those discussions. In part to help inform the discussion, but also, in part to ensure our business decisions are helping real people experience and move through their communities in a more thoughtful way.

Maven remains committed to a mobility model that takes critical steps toward developing sustainable and livable cities, including launching peer-to-peer car sharing and deploying electric vehicles in high-mileage, shared-use applications. We are thrilled to further solidify our commitment to developing the future of cites by signing the Shared Mobility Principles, three of which I want to highlight below.

“We plan our cities and their mobility together”

Shared spaces should address the accessibility and safety needs of those living, working and playing in our neighborhoods, which is why we are focused on creating collaborative, public-private partnerships with local government leaders. Thoughtful mobility solutions have the power to reduce barriers, enhance daily interactions and offer options to all community members.

As cities work with electric utilities and charging station providers, Maven is providing real-world insights from managing one of the country’s largest fleets of shared-use EVs. As we grow, we are committed to working with city leaders and companies to thoughtfully identify and plan for community needs, while creating sustainable, scalable solutions that can be leveraged more broadly—imagine a future were an EV charging network seamlessly supports the needs of micro-mobility, shared vehicles and transit, while thoughtfully designed into the streetscape.

“We support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs and land”

At Maven, we believe sharing enables cities to create scalable solutions for the betterment of those who live there. Sharing assets means their use is maximized – especially when it comes to expensive investments like cars.

With peer-to-peer car sharing, Maven helps owners put cars to work that may be idle. This is good news for owners, who now have the opportunity to make money by sharing a car that may otherwise be sitting in their driveway. Or, an owner might be a community group looking to leverage the Maven platform to deploy shared vehicles to support mobility needs of students, job-seekers or health-care providers. Users benefit from increased mobility options for those who seek them sporadically but do not wish to own vehicles themselves. Overall, communities benefit from increased transportation options and reduced pressure to own a vehicle.

Here at Maven, we’re also learning how to maximize the value of each car that travels to work each day by challenging employees to share a trip with a colleague once a week. In the first three months of the challenge, employees logged over 10,000 shared miles and built meaningful connections with their coworkers. Scaling these sharing solutions could mean more shared miles, less congestion, and more human connections.

“We lead the transition towards a zero-emission future and renewable energy”

If implemented thoughtfully, public transportation and shared-use fleets improve cities’ environmental impact. Electric vehicles coupled with supporting infrastructure like DC Fast Charging create a holistic approach to transportation energy goals while maximizing climate and air quality benefits. In San Francisco nearly half of our car sharing fleet is electric, and nationally we’ve saved over 1.4 million gallons of gas* by putting electric vehicles in high-mileage, shared-use fleets.

Truly sustainable cities require collaborative, iterative learning and sharing, which is why I’m proud Maven is joining companies and non-profits in signing the Shared Mobility Principles. We’re excited to continue to put these principles into our practices while working toward smart solutions that are better for city residents and better for the environment.

For more information about General Motors’ sustainability efforts, visit www.gmsustainability.com.

*Data based on total EV miles traveled and average EPA-estimated MPG of total Maven fleet.

Jennifer Korail
General Motors Corporate News
+1 (313) 319-0584