General Motors recently launched Marketplace, the first commerce platform for the automobile that allows motorists to order and pay for products and services from their vehicle’s dashboard.
For now the service is only available in certain urban centres in the United States, like Austin, Seattle and Atlanta, thanks to partnerships with technology providers Conversable, Xevo and Sionic Mobile. While for the moment no service will be offered in Canada, there is reason to believe expansion north of the border will take place within a couple of years.
How does the new system work? Marketplace allows owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles equipped with 4G LTE connectivity to, for instance, order food or coffee, find the nearest and least-expensive gas station and reserve a table at a restaurant via their vehicle’s dashboard. Companies already participating as merchants accessible via Marketplace include Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Shell, Priceline.com, Parkopedia and Applebee’s – again, only in certain areas of the United States.
The feature also includes a Boutique section, where owners can find GM-exclusive offers, for example to buy Wi-Fi data, get a discount on an oil change or find accessories at reduced prices.
According to the automaker, Marketplace is one more solution for motorists who want to maximize their time spent behind the wheel (which adds up to an average of 46 minutes per day for North American drivers). The system was designed by GM to work in hands-free mode as well so can be used while in motion.
Here is a video that shines more light on how the system functions: