General Motors Inc. continues to prepare itself in fear of what Uber could do to the car industry. Following a recent deal with Lyft to build a fleet of self-driving cars, GM has acquired the technology and assets of failed Uber rival, Sidecar.
Launched in 2012, Sidecar is an industry pioneer that helped introduce the concept of ride-sharing. Before officially shutting down in December of last year, the San Francisco-based company operated its ride-hailing service in markets like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia and Austin. Struggling to compete with far wealthier competitors Uber and Lyft, Sidecar expanded into services beyond rides. In 2014, Sidecar partnered with Eat24 to make deliveries on behalf of the online food service. Another move followed last May, when the ride-hailing service starting delivering medical marijuana in San Francisco.
Just a few weeks after the announcement that the company would be closing up shop, Sidecar has now been acquired by General Motors for a dollar amount in the ballpark of $30 million. The majority of Sidecar employees (about 20) will be migrating over to GM. A spokesman for General Motors has stated that the acquisition of Sidecar and its employees is intended to support the automaker’s new partnership with Lyft.
According to Bloomberg, a person with knowledge of the deal claims that GM plans to introduce its own ride-sharing service called Maven. The proposed undertaking, which will be led by General Motors President Daniel Ammann, could let owners of GM cars give rides to people who are traveling in the same direction.[Bloomberg]
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