OnStar has been smartly using the mobile space to augment its services and it has taken it a step further by opening up its platform through APIs and teaming with RelayRides as its first development partner.
If you don’t know RelayRides, it enables peer-to-peer car rentals – think of it like AirBnB for your cars. I need to rent a car for a few days in a few weeks and looked at RelayRides but was leaning towards Getaround because it had an iOS app. RelayRides said it was waiting for this partnership to be announced to talk about its app and you can expect an iPhone version out “in the next few months.”
Along with being able to find and rent cars near you, the exciting thing about this app and the OnStar partnership is that it will enable you to tap into that OnStar system to just use your phone to unlock the car you’ve just rented. There are over 6 million active OnStar cars on the road nowadays, so there’s a good chance you may find one near you.
The idea of collaborative consumption is big right now for a reason, as most cars are only driven for an hour a day. For those concerned about what happens if the renter crashes your car, you should know that RelayRides has a $1 million insurance policy on its rentals and the company told me that the strong community of the service leads to renters sometimes returning the car in an even better condition than how they found it.
Check out the video below for an idea of how the RelayRides app will integrate with OnStar.