New General Motors app lets you order and shop from your auto

Yolanda Curtis
December 6, 2017

GM announced Tuesday that it's launching a new Marketplace app for its MyLink infotainment system that will allow owners to purchase goods or services from participating brands via their vehicles' touchscreen displays.

GM's Marketplace technology, developed in collaboration with International Business Machines will be uploaded automatically to about 1.9 million model-year 2017 and later vehicles starting immediately, with about 4 million vehicles across the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands equipped with the capability in the United States by the end of 2018, GM said.

"The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving".

The Detroit automaker says the technology, which is rolling out to 4 million cars and trucks in the US through the end of the year via over-the-air updates, adheres to federal distracted driving guidelines and only works with customer consent because personal data is transferred between the vehicle and merchants to complete sales. Starbucks (SBUX) and Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN) integration will allow you to order your favorite drink or "food item" from your auto and then pick it up in the store or at the drive-through. "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 USA drivers".

There will be limits to the functionality of the new marketplace feature since it's created to be used while driving.

For example, GM will launch Marketplace with just Shell and Exxon Mobil icons in the fuel category.

A GM representative said Marketplace was tested and validated by GM to be safe to use while driving. I mean, how many different touch screens are you going to have to go through to order one simple extra hot Grande half-caf vanilla latte with a double shot and a sprinkle of cinnamon? And will make it possible to access everything from grocery stores to dry cleaners while on the move.

"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", Chamorro added. Most automakers seemingly prevent you from doing most anything having to do with apps while behind the wheel. Starbucks will become available through Marketplace in early 2018, and more retailers are likely to follow.

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