In-car infotainment systems are becoming ever more advanced, and with the addition of Wi-Fi and LTE functionality comes the sort of features that were once restricted to smartphones. General Motors' new service, called Marketplace, takes this to the next level, allowing drivers to make dinner reservations, order food, and reserve a parking space all from the confines of their vehicles.
Launched today, the GM Marketplace will initially be available to owners of 2017 and 2018 GM-branded vehicles with 4G LTE and compatible infotainment systems. GM says around 4 million drivers will be able to access the feature immediately, a figure that’s expected to rise over the next year.
The automotive giant says the service will allow Chevy, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac owners “to more safely interact with a growing number of their favorite brands in retail, fuel, hospitality, food, hotel and transportation through the in-vehicle touchscreen.”
The promo video below shows a driver ordering and paying for his morning coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, all ready to be picked up from the closest drive-thru—a process that will no doubt save him literally seconds of precious time. There’s also the ability to reserve a table at certain restaurants, and a “shop” section that notifies owners of deals related to their vehicles. The system utilizes IBM Watson’s machine learning features along with user data.
Earlier this year, Jaguar and Shell launched the world’s first in-car payment system for gas stations in the UK, allowing drivers to pay for fuel from within their vehicles. Strangely, GM’s video shows its system giving directions to the nearest station and bringing up any available offers, but actually paying for the gas appears to involve using a smartphone app.
More companies are expected to join the GM Marketplace in the future. While it may not be the most useful of systems, especially considering that smartphones can do all these functions, don’t be surprised to see other car makers adopt similar versions at some point.