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Shanghai GM Carpooling Pilot Explores Future of Mobility

January 04, 2016

General Motors China has introduced a carpooling pilot program for employees based in Shanghai that enables them to arrange rides together using a self-developed mobile app.

This is one of GM’s recent moves worldwide to gain a better understanding of urban mobility issues and insights into car-sharing user experiences. The mobile app will enable about 700 employees at GM China’s Shanghai headquarters to share a ride with their colleagues while making an effort to reduce emissions and congestion, according to the company.

Drivers can input their preferred route, departure time and number of seats available. Riders can submit their commuter requests. The self-developed matching system quickly offers a list of potential drivers for riders to approach. When the driver accepts a rider, the system automatically shows one fewer available seat in his or her vehicle, according to the automaker.

GM CEO Mary Barra and her leadership team recently outlined the company’s plans to capitalize on the future of personal mobility, building upon nearly two decades of OnStar’s use in GM vehicles, according to the company.

In addition to internal campus-based car-sharing and ride-sharing programs in the U.S., China and Europe, GM recently announced its first residential car-sharing initiative, Let’s Drive NYC, in the U.S. Unlike other mobility service offerings, Let’s Drive NYC leverages integrated and existing OnStar connectivity technologies and services such as remote diagnostic status and access to OnStar advisors with the push of a button, according to GM.

In Europe, the company’s Opel brand has deployed a peer-to-peer sharing service called CarUnity, which incorporates dealers and their fleets to provide an array of available vehicles for sharing. In China, a fleet of EN-V 2.0 electric concept vehicles went into service at Shanghai Jiao Tong University earlier in 2015 as part of a multi-modal campus transportation system alongside bicycles, cars and shuttle buses.

Further car- and ride-sharing initiatives will follow starting in the first quarter of 2016, according to the company.

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