Cruise and GM's push is to not only create a new ride-hailing platform but to also develop a new vehicle for similar platforms is a significant development for the market.
"It is not a product you can buy, but an experience you share," Cruise CEO Dan Ammann emphasized several times recently.
Most auto manufacturers haven't begun to develop vehicles as a service despite the continual drop in new car sales as consumers in cities choose alternative mobility services instead of traditional car ownership.
Several years ago GM shuttered five vehicle lines as consumer buying trends shifted. Despite that setback, GM is now preparing to open a new factory in Detroit to produce the Origin.
Volvo, the major auto manufacturer owned by Chinese auto company Geely, is also focusing on vehicles as a service. In 2018 the company highlighted its new vehicle subscription service through several partnerships with technology, software, and other industry partners.
The car subscription service, called Care By Volvo, ended up being very successful and the company has since expanded the service into new cities. Volvo was a fairly small car-maker but after being purchased by Geely the company has been experimenting with new business models and services.
General Motors is much larger and its effort to take advantage of this new emerging market is important.
GM and Cruise have already run into some issues as they had to delay their ride-hailing platform's launch out of 2019 after the autonomous technology backing it wasn't ready for the launch.
However, ride-hailing is clearly opening up a new market and the manufacturers who are prepared might be the ones to lead the way.