(Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Wednesday it would expand its car-sharing operation, Maven, in the U.S. ride services market as the automaker looks to benefit from a growing ‘gig’ or freelance economy.
GM’s Maven Gig program will help drivers rent a car on demand for independent gigs such as package delivery, food or grocery delivery, and ridesharing, at a time when more people are expected to take up freelance work.
GM said it expects about 43 percent of the U.S. workforce to work freelance by 2020. Currently about 35 percent of the workforce in the United States are freelancers, according to Freelancers Union, a non-profit organization.
Maven Gig, currently operational in San Diego, will be launched in San Francisco and Los Angeles later this year, GM said.
The automaker aims to have 100 vehicles as part of the Maven Gig fleet in San Diego, starting with its Chevrolet Bolt electric cars, and plans to scale up based on demand.
GM is testing more than 50 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles with self-driving technology on public roads in San Francisco, the Detroit metropolitan area and Scottsdale, Arizona.
Maven Gig has partnered with online food order and delivery company GrubHub, online grocer Instacart and app-based delivery service Roadie.
Maven, launched in January 2016, currently provides vehicles for ridesharing in 11 markets in the United States.
Reporting by Arunima Banerjee and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Supriya Kurane