GM launches employee carpooling pilot program in China image

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

The issues of global urban mobility are become more significant with every passing day and the automotive world is trying to find proper solutions into this direction, with car-sharing being proven to be an appropriate alternative. The latest GM initiative is one of the automaker’s recent worldwide moves to gain a better understanding into those types of congestion problems and insights into ride-sharing user experiences. About 700 employees at GM China’s Shanghai headquarters will share a ride with their colleagues, helping to reduce emissions and congestion in this way.

Drivers can input their preferred route through a mobile app, departure time and number of seats available. Riders can submit their commuter requests and the self-developed matching system quickly offers a list of potential drivers for employees to approach. When the driver accepts the request, the system automatically shows one less available seat in his vehicle. “The employee carpooling pilot program merges the Internet with intelligent mobile technology,” said Vivian Yu, who is leading GM China Urban Active Projects. “It will not only benefit our team members, but also enable us to test software systems in everyday usage scenarios.” “This initiative will further expand our activities in alternate transportation models in one of our most important markets in the world,” added Julia Steyn, GM vice president, Urban Active. “It will help us learn more about vehicle user behavior as we develop business models for future global mobility solutions.”

GM has also recently announced its first residential car-sharing initiative, Let’s Drive NYC, in the US, which 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. 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 this year as part of a multi-modal campus transportation system alongside bicycles, cars and shuttle buses. GM said further car- and ride-sharing initiatives will follow starting in the first quarter of 2016.