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General Motors believes it has a new and easier way to order coffee, make reservations or shop while you are driving.
The automaker has launched GM Marketplace, which allows roughly 2 million owners of GM vehicles to press a button or two in order to order food or coffee they can pick up minutes later in a drive-thru lane.
"The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving," said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for global connected customer experience at GM. "We have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back."
Here's how GM Marketplace works: Drivers in more than 2 million connected 2017 GM vehicles can tap select vendors on their dashboard screens in order to place orders while on the road.
For example, a person could order coffee or food at a nearby Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts by hitting a few buttons while driving. Since the order is placed through a car with Wi-Fi connectivity, GM Marketplace will locate the nearest store, place the order and direct the driver where to go. When the driver arrives, the customer would go through the drive-thru lane, pick up the order and pay through a smartphone app.
In addition to Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, GM Marketplace also features links to other restaurants like Wingstop, TGIF Friday's and Applebee's, where you can order food or reserve a table, and other vendors like Priceline. There are also links to help you find gas station chains such as Shell and Exxon Mobil.
"For most retailers and consumer brands the daily commute is the only time not accessible in a consumers' day," said Chamorro.
Automakers have long talked about using the technology in their vehicles to better connect companies and drivers. Given the vast amount of data being generated by millions of vehicles driving billions of miles every day, the potential is enormous for both retail vendors as well as auto companies. Now, with more vehicles equipped with connectivity, the opportunity to run a business through a car or truck is becoming a reality.
GM expects 4 million connected models to have access to GM Marketplace by the end of next year. In the months to come, the automaker expects to add more restaurants and retail chains to GM Marketplace.