General Motors has teamed up with US-based car sharing service RelayRides to integrate new peer-to-peer sharing technology into its vehicles.
- shares

The new program will allow US owners of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles equipped with the OnStar in-car communications system to make money by hiring out their cars when they are not using them.

The new partnership will potentially expand the community of share cars to millions of vehicles in the US.

Innovative new technology that will allow borrowers to access vehicles they have reserved with their smartphones, without the vehicles requiring any retrofitting or additional hardware installation.

Customers will be able to check for available vehicles, make online reservations, check future reservations, locate their reserved vehicle via GPS, and lock and unlock their vehicle all through a smartphone app.

Car sharing aims to reduce the number of vehicles on the road by putting existing cars to work while their owners are not using them. The program can also be more convenient and cost-effective for borrowers than using public transport or taxis. Insurance is covered by RelayRides and the price of borrowing a share car starts at $5 per hour.

RelayRides says the average shared car takes 14 other cars off the road, and estimates the owner of an average car can expect to make around $3000 per year if their car is hired for 10 hours every week.

The GM/RelayRides partnership program will launch in the US in early 2012.

What do you think of the system? Would you ever let a stranger drive your car? Do you think Australia would benefit from an accessible car sharing system like this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.