GM to allow drivers with OnStar to rent their cars

DETROIT, July 17 Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:47pm IST

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DETROIT, July 17 (Reuters) - General Motors Co drivers can rent out their under-used vehicles by using an OnStar service that allows potential renters to unlock the doors using their smart phones.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker said Tuesday it is working with RelayRides, an online car-sharing marketplace that launched in Boston in June 2010. GM's venture-capital arm invested in the company at the end of 2011, OnStar spokesman Vijay Iyer said.

OnStar is an in-vehicle service best known for connecting drivers to live operators who can provide directions or summon emergency help after an accident.

RelayRides developers were given access to some OnStar services, including features that can locate the vehicle and unlock the doors remotely. Renters can unlock the doors using their phones or by replying to text messages.

Owners of Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac cars and trucks can earn "hundreds of dollars per month" by using RelayRides, GM said in a release.

Drivers without OnStar can still rent their cars and trucks through the RelayRides service by exchanging keys directly with the renter.

RelayRides is also financed by Google Ventures, Google Inc's venture capital arm; August Capital; and Shasta Ventures.

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