GM has released its Marketplace feature to 2017 and 2018 models equipped with compatible infotainment systems across all of its brands. Marketplace allows drivers to access a variety of brands while in the car.
Related: Study: Phones Aren't the Only Things Distracting Drivers
Marketplace allows drivers to place orders for food, find parking and make hotel reservations on the go via their vehicle's multimedia touchscreen using the car's embedded 4G LTE connectivity. GM says a separate data plan is not required to use Marketplace.
Santiago Chamorro, vice president for Global Connected Customer Experience at GM, said, "For most retailers and consumer brands, the daily commute is the only time not accessible in a consumers' day. Marketplace gives merchants the ability to more safely engage with drivers and passengers in a meaningful way that provides true value for our customers."
The feature's Shop section, the automaker says, will show drivers on-screen notifications of special offers tailored to GM customers. GM says the system "leverages machine learning from real-time interaction data, such as location, time of day and a driver's established relationship with third-party merchants, to offer highly personalized experiences."
GM claims that this system adheres to "industry distracted-driving guidelines, as well as GM's strict in-house safety guiding principles," but also says Marketplace is designed to be used while driving.
Despite the automaker's safety assurances, we're not yet convinced. Most navigation systems won't allow drivers to enter a destination while the vehicle is moving — which is good and safe — but placing your complicated Starbucks order while on the go is OK? At the very least, this seems like one more thing for drivers to look at when stopped at traffic lights instead of paying attention to the world around them.
The first brands and retailers to be involved in Marketplace in addition to GM and Starbucks are Dunkin' Donuts, Wingstop, TGI Fridays, Shell, ExxonMobil, Priceline.com, Parkopedia, Applebee's, IHOP and Delivery.com.
Our advice for those wanting to use these features? Park the car first. There's no reason to order pancakes while you're driving.
Also, remember that creepy scene in "Minority Report"?
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