Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

GM Marketplace Lets Drivers Order a Latte From the Dashboard

GM Marketplace Lets Drivers Order a Latte From the Dashboard

Marketplace, an app appearing on GM's infotainment screens beginning Tuesday, allows drivers to use their cars to order coffee, make a restaurant reservation or even buy chicken wings.

Marketplace is the first in a slate of new "personalization" features the company plans to roll out in the next 12 to 18 months to almost four million US drivers, according to Santiago Chamorro, vice president for GM's global connected customer experience.

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Marketplace which was developed with IBM, will be immediately uploaded to about 1.9 million model-year 2017 and later vehicles, Reuters reported. It also will have features that can search for nearby ExxonMobil or Shell stations - and GM plans to eventually add Shell's in-car payment functionality that it trialed in the United Kingdom with Jaguar Land Rover. Payment for items such as food and drink is made through accounts owners have previously set up with popular merchants on the platform. Now, with the rise of connected vehicles, users have the opportunity to leverage this technology at home and on-the-go. For example, an owner might be offered a discount on an oil change or reminded that their in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi data plan needs to be renewed. Marketplace does not require a separate data plan, the company said. It's an in-car shopping app that allows Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC owners to purchase food, as well as other consumer goods and services, directly from their infotainment screens.

Chamorro says the intent is not to bombard the driver with advertising. Customers' closest Shell station will be identified and station amenities showcased among the largest fuel station network in the US, with the ability to pay in-dash coming soon.

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The GM Marketplace will compete for customer clicks and revenue with hand-held smartphones, which offer a far richer array of applications than the GM system will at the outset.

The brands available through Marketplace from the jump are Dunkin' Donuts, Wingstop, TGI Fridays, Shell, ExxonMobil, Priceline.com, Parkopedia, Applebee's, IHOP, and Delivery.com.

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"We will be adding more vendors", Chamorro says, "and we will be continuously improving the experience". "Marketplace gives merchants the ability to more safely engage with drivers and passengers in a meaningful way that provides true value for our customers". Rolling up to the drive-thru and saying your name doesn't seem much different than asking for a "something something coffee, please?" and booking restaurants or hotels can be done over a call.

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