General Motors Expands On-Demand Marketplace Into The Dashboard

General Motors is continuing to expand its Connected Car program by adding 4G LTE to power on-demand purchases and reservations within the dashboard of 2017 and 2018 model cars and trucks.

The new feature, dubbed Marketplace, reflects GM’s role in pioneering what is considered the first Connected Car platform, OnStar, 21 years ago. As the auto giant and its rivals have shown recently, they’re not leaving the future up to tech companies to push the concept forward into the mainstream.

Marketplace will actually be incorporating and replacing AtYourService going forward. So the offers and coupons that were previously available through AtYourService are now part of Marketplace, along with more functionality like the ability to transact with merchants, a GM rep told GeoMarketing.

To access Marketplace’s features, GM will give customers the option of buying 4G LTE Data packages, extending their OnStar subscriptions, or receive offers for certified service, parts and accessories for their specific vehicle.

Once in place, drivers of eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars with the Marketplace dashboard will be able to make direct purchases from GM partner brands including Starbucks, ExxonMobile, Shell Oil, Dunkin’ Donuts, TGI Fridays, IHOP, Parkopedia, Applebee’s, and Wingstop. More partners are expected to be added in the next few months.

To integrate merchants’ content into Marketplace, GM is working with three main platform partners: Xevo in Seattle, Washington; Conversable in Austin, Texas; and Sionic Mobile in Atlanta, Georgi

In addition to those brands, app-based courier service delivery.com will also provide services from local independent businesses by enabling customers to order online from their favorite local restaurants, wine and spirits shops, grocery stores and laundry and dry-cleaning providers — all from the front seat of their car.

The move reflects the wider role that Connected Intelligence/Knowledge Graph, the Smart Home, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and mobility are having in terms of personalizing services via consumers’ desire for on-demand commerce to satisfy “micro-moments.”

Still, why would consumers turn to their car dashboard as opposed to the smartphones they’re likely tethered to anyway? Santiago Chamorro, VP for Global Connected Customer Experience, has a ready answer. It’s the recognition that for consumers who want to buy things at most optimal moment for them, the tool that is able to provide even a modicum of more ease and speed is that one that consumers will use.

And as tech companies, which are also racing to build the driverless car, compete with established automotive manufacturers, it makes sense for those companies to level the playing field against potential Silicon Valley rivals.

“The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving. Leveraging connectivity and our unique data capabilities, we have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back,” said Chamorro. “Marketplace is the first of a suite of new personalization features that we will roll out over the next 12 to 18 months to nearly four million U.S. drivers.”

While Apple’s latest iOS 11 iPhone software can be set to “do not disturb” while driving, GM’s Marketplace is intended to be the hands-free connected solution while on-the-go as phones are put away. 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.

“For most retailers and consumer brands the daily commute is the only time not accessible in a consumers’ day,” said Chamorro. “Marketplace gives merchants the ability to more safely engage with drivers and passengers in a meaningful way that provides true value for our customers.”