Google Banks on Private Car Rentals

Google dreams of a world where cars drive themselves but for now that dream will have to take a back seat to renting private cars.

The Mountain View-based tech giant is investing in RelayRides, a car-sharing service in the model of what Zipcar is doing except here the company is renting out the cars of private citizens.

The service allows anyone to rent their car out, at their own price, through the company's website. RelayRides will then connect the renter with someone who needs a rental car and the company and the car owner split the proceeds.

The idea is that the cars will be cheaper to rent than though a professional company and that there will be more variety in the type of car.

Google's investment puts the company in direct competition with another San Francisco company that is already doing the private timeshare car rental.

RelayRide is active in San Francisco and Boston.

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