General Motors wants to make it easier to order your Starbucks coffee, find the nearest Shell station or even reserve a table at the local TGI Fridays. On Tuesday, the automaker announced GM Marketplace, a commerce platform for on-demand reservations and purchases run through your infotainment system, and it's coming to new and existing 2017 and 2018 model year GM vehicles.
The system includes a variety of companies at launch and aims to up the convenience factor for drivers. Straight from any Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac infotainment system, drivers can access functions provided by the companies currently signed on. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and Applebee's will allow drivers to order food and drink ahead of pickup; Shell will provide drivers the closest fuel station and soon let them pay for their fuel from the car; Priceline will provide hotel and airfare information; and TGI Fridays will let a driver reserve a table.
Other companies onboard with Marketplace include Parkopedia, Wingstop, IHOP, ExxonMobil and Delivery.com. GM itself will offer a "Shop" function for drivers, too. The shop will sell GM accessories and services such as oil changes, 4G LTE Wi-Fi plans and other deals from the cars' infotainment systems.
The automaker notes the system does not require a separate data plan to work and it engineered Marketplace to minimize manual interactions while behind the wheel. In fact, GM said the service is designed for use while driving.
Essentially, Marketplace works like several apps in one, though only for specific companies. It has the functions of apps like OpenTable and Priceline, and it will find you the nearest gas station provided it's a Shell. Given the size of GM and the number of GM cars on the road, we can see several other companies getting on board.
The automaker will add Marketplace to all 2017 and 2018 vehicles with compatible infotainment systems—it's unclear which infotainment units will support Marketplace—soon and will roll out the system to other applications in the near future.