GM thinks you'll buy stuff through your car's dashboard

GM thinks you'll buy stuff through your car's dashboard

GM thinks you'll buy stuff through your car's dashboard

"We think we are offering a better experience to our core customers", says Santiago Chamorro, vice president-Global Connected Customer Experience at GM.

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.

"Leveraging connectivity and our unique data capabilities, we have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back", Chamorro said in a statement released by GM Tuesday.

To allow merchants to efficiently and quickly integrate their content as part of the in-vehicle Marketplace ecosystem, General Motors is working with three main platform partners: Xevo (www.xevo.com) in Seattle, Washington; Conversable (www.conversable.com) in Austin, Texas; and Sionic Mobile (www.sionicmobile.com) in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Detroit automaker says the technology, which is rolling out to 4 million cars and trucks in the USA 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. While some of the same features could be accessed by a smartphone, Marketplace will make the process easier and reduce the likelihood of distracted driving.

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Outside of simply being able to order drinks or food directly, Marketplace learns your habits and preferences, so eventually it will be able to suggest that you visit certain stores based on the hour of the day and where you're driving. They can also reserve a table at TGI Fridays while on the go.

In other words, until someone invents a way for you to buy stuff in your sleep, it is now possible to make a purchase at any given minute of the day. The automaker is adding the feature to vehicles through over-the-air updates, a GM spokesman said.

GM hopes to add more vendors soon, although the automaker says it is unclear how many the platform may ultimately host.

Marketplace is an evolution of AtYourService, which used OnStar to provide drivers with information from merchants along their route. Vijay Iyer, a GM spokesman, told Bloomberg the service complies with voluntary driver-distraction guidelines that many automakers have agreed on. Earlier this year, Ford paired up with Starbucks and Domino's to allow motorists to place orders on the go. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen.

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