GM brings restaurant commerce to the driver's seat

GM has figured out how to monetize drivers' commutes by installing an auto industry first in its cars — a commerce platform that allows anyone riding inside to make a reservation, order take-out or just have the delivery guy meet customers back at the house, according to GM's website.

The platform — Marketplace — allows drivers to order and pay for coffee, burgers and more by tapping on the dash. Cars equipped include "eligible" Chevrolets, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs, according to GM, which bills the platform as a way to "more safely interact with … (providers of all sorts of) retail, fuel, hospitality, food, hotel and transportation."

That access is made through an in-vehicle touchscreen, including a "shop" section with offers for GM cars and other vehicles, like oil changes and more data so you can shop more. 

"The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving," GM Vice President for Global Connected Customer Experience Santiago Chamorro said on the company's website. "Leveraging connectivity and our unique data capabilities, we have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back. 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."

GM is adding Marketplace to millions of existing 2017 and 2018 model-year cars, trucks and crossovers with compatible infotainment systems. The platform will come in all new cars compatible under the company's umbrella. GM said a separate data plan is not required to use Marketplace.

"For most retailers and consumer brands the daily commute is the only time not accessible in a consumer's day," Chamorro added in the release. "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 platform was designed for use while driving vehicles. It uses machine learning from data around location, time and each driver's established digital relationship with third-party merchants to personalize the tool. It also is designed to "minimize manual interactions" by drivers with the system. 

Early players from the food world include Starbucks early next year, Dunkin' Donuts, Wingstop, TGI Fridays, Applebee's, IHOP and, according to the release. 

Topics: Online Ordering

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