As of Tuesday, we officially live in a time when people can order coffee and pancakes from the dashboard of their cars. This historic moment comes courtesy of General Motors, who just released their new Marketplace app, which they call “the automotive industry’s first commerce platform for on-demand reservations and purchases of goods and services.”
In a press release entitled “GM Lets Customers Order Their Morning Coffee With Their Car,” the car company outlined how the new app will transform their vehicles into a mobile command posts for consumerism consumption, and, as the title suggests, there will be a big emphasis on food.
For Marketplace, GM partnered up with several corporate chains to offer drivers a wide array of food and beverage options, and the app can complete tasks such as pre-ordering a Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks coffee. The driver can then pick it up “at their preferred pickup location,” i.e., drive over to IHOP and retrieve their already paid-for order of “fluffy buttermilk pancakes on the go.”
Need a quick reservation at your favorite casual dining spot? Just tap on the screen of your Chevy Equinox's "infotainment" system and get a reservation for you and your “closest friends and family when they need a break from the week” at TGI Fridays.
On the hunt for a one-dollar Long Island iced tea in your vicinity? No worries, GM's got you covered. “Applebee’s ensures customers are never too far from Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood whether close to home or miles away with the ability to locate their nearest restaurant, order featured menu items and reorder recent favorites through the convenience of their vehicle’s touchscreen.”
Eating doughnuts and drinking coffee while driving can be distracting on their own, let alone ordering them from a touchscreen on the dash, but GM argues that this app will actually be safer than the status quo, which, for a lot of people means using a smartphone. "Adhering to industry distracted driving guidelines, as well as GM’s strict in-house safety guiding principles, GM designs its in-vehicle systems to minimize manual interactions, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel."
Safety matters aside, the system is also at the cutting edge of collecting consumer information about users to make the experience as personalized as possible. “[Marketplace] leverages machine learning from real-time interaction data, such as location, time of day, and a driver’s established digital relationship with third-party merchants, to offer highly personalized experiences,” which sounds a bit like, “We will know where you are and what you buy at all times.” (Not creepy at all!)
According to the press release, Marketplace will be integrated into "millions of existing 2017 and 2018 model-year cars, trucks, and crossovers." Ready for your pick-up to order your Frappuccino?