General Motors to enable drivers to buy stuff from their dashboard

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The new GM Marketplace will initially roll out in 2017 and 2018 GM-branded vehicles with 4G LTE connectivity and compatible infotainment systems.

Marketplace is the first in a slate of new "personalization" features the company plans to roll out in the next 12 to 18 months to almost four million USA drivers, according to Santiago Chamorro, vice president for GM's global connected customer experience.

GM also hopes to use its in-car Marketplace connections to expand purchases of products and services, such as additional access to in-car wifi, from its own replacement parts business and dealer network. "Marketplace gives merchants the ability to more safely engage with drivers and passengers in a meaningful way that provides true value for our customers". Xevo solutions for cloud, car, and mobile devices leverage computer vision, machine learning, and data analytics to continuously create, test, and deploy new AI models that improve performance, safety, and driver experiences.

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"This platform is financed by the merchants", said Chamorro.

A shop button is also included allowing for instance purchasing of things like Wi-Fi data an to get discounts on oil changes or GM accessories.

I spoke to GM Director of Global Digital Experience & Connected Vehicles John McFarland about why GM chose to build an in-vehicle ecommerce platform, and in particular one created to actually be used while driving.

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Marketplace is created to be used while driving. However, customers will not have to pay for the service or data used for these services. For example, GM will launch Marketplace with just Shell and Exxon Mobil icons in the fuel category.

TGI Fridays will let customers schedule a table reservation for them and their closest friends and family when they need a break from the week.

That's a convenient feature, but it's sure to raise concerns from privacy advocates. And the in-dash Marketplace purchasing process is actually meant to be used while you're actually driving, with a purchase flow that's meant to minimize distraction and keep attention on the road.

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IHOP makes it easy for guests to enjoy hot, fresh all-day breakfast favorites like fluffy buttermilk pancakes on the go, thanks to safe and secure on-dash ordering and location service capabilities that help search and find the nearest restaurant for pickup. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, and Wuling brands.

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