GM Marketplace Lets Drivers Order a Latte From the Dashboard

GM takes in-car ordering to the next level

GM says no customer data will be shared with vendors with the customer's consent.

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.

Such services are expected to become even more popular going into the next decade as the industry begins rolling out the first autonomous and fully driverless vehicles. In addition, there will be apps for parking, and ordering ahead at coffee shops and restaurants such as Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Applebee's.

General Motors Co. has launched technology into about 2 million 2017 and 2018 US vehicles that allows owners to order and pay for their favorite Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts brew before pulling up to the drive-through window.

The Marketplace platform will be initially available for about 2 million 2017 and 2018 model Cadillac, Chevy, Buick and GMC vehicles with 4G service and compatible infotainment systems. "Marketplace is the first of a suite of new personalization features that we will roll out over the next 12 to 18 months to almost four million U.S. drivers". A shopping section of Marketplace allows drivers to retrieve discounts for oil changes or GM accessories, which are then emailed to drivers. The order will be ready and waiting when the driver pulls into the drive-thru lane. In October 2016, GM announced plans to combine IBM's artificial intelligence software Watson with the carmaker's OnStar system in order to market services to drivers in their vehicles.


Still, why would consumers turn to their auto dashboard as opposed to the smartphones they're likely tethered to anyway? Exxon Mobil and Shell will use the app to help customers find a nearby service station.

According to commentators, the move to add on-demand retail capabilities to personal vehicles comes as GM tries to establish itself as a tech heavyweight in the shifting mobility landscape. Priceline will offer deals and allow GM Marketplace users to make hotel reservations.

The GM Marketplace concept has been under development for more than a year.

"For most retailers and consumer brands the daily commute is the only time not accessible in a consumers' day", said Chamorro. At the time, GM said the feature would debut in vehicles in early 2017. "Marketplace gives merchants the ability to more safely engage with drivers and passengers in a meaningful way that provides true value for our customers".

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