In January, OnStar announced an API would allow third party developers to integrate their applications with OnStar's platform. Last week, General Motors announced its first partner for API integration: RelayRides. RelayRides is "[t]he world's largest peer to peer carsharing marketplace." The partnership with GM allows OnStar users to leave their keys in their cars when renting a car to a fellow RelayRider. The renter can then unlock the car with a smartphone app or by responding to a text message.
According to GM Vice President OnStar Strategy and New Business Development, Nick Pudar,
"General Motors, through OnStar, and RelayRides have joined forces to create an entirely new mobility solution for U.S. drivers interested in more affordable, sustainable and collaborative automobile options."
The OnStar API utilizes a SOAP protocol and XML data format. OnStar services are enabled by Advanced Telematics Operating System (ATOMS). The API is currently closed, and RelayRides is the first third party partner to gain access. Developers interested in the OnStar API can contact OnStar developers directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The OnStar, RelayRides partnership is a perfect match. OnStar serves over 6 million customers, and RelayRides is the first nationwide carsharing platform. RelayRides hopes to extend its customer reach through OnStar integration and OnStar hopes "to give people 1,001 reasons to keep their OnStar subscription active," according to OnStar Chief Information Officer (Eric Litt). Although both companies have exclusive partnerships with each other at this time, both parties intend on partnering with others in the auto-ecosystem to revolutionize the industry.