GM and FCA are the latest automakers to announce more ways to use your car’s touchscreen for everything from ordering pizza and pancakes to buying gas and groceries to making restaurant and hotel reservations — and reserving a parking spot for when you get there.
This all may be an answer to a question no one with a smartphone has asked, but it’s a way for automakers to get in on online shopping using the car’s embedded connectivity and not involving your smartphone. That’s a potential ongoing revenue source, not to mention a source of ongoing data on their customers. Automakers also promise it has been designed for minimal driver distraction — as if drivers needed any added distractions — but you still might pull over briefly for your pizza emergency.
Order a Pie on the Fly
The latest news from GM is that it is adding Domino’s Pizza to its Marketplace offerings, starting with Chevrolet, after announcing the deal last year. GM rolled out Marketplace, the first in-vehicle e-commerce platform, in 2017 as an add-on for connected multimedia systems in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. It has been adding partners since to initial offerings that included Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Now GM owners can press the touchscreen to order a half-pepperoni and extra-cheese pie, pay and specify takeout or home delivery (and then race the pizza driver to your house). However, you must first use the Domino’s phone app to link a profile to the car with preferred delivery address and stores, as well as a payment method. You also can save your favorite pie for one-button “Easy Order.”
Domino’s follows GM’s 2018 announcement of in-dash payment for gas at Shell stations. And it adds to other partners that the system can locate, serve up special offers and, in some cases, pay. They also now include IHOP, Wingstop, TGI Fridays, Applebee’s, ExxonMobil locations and directions, Priceline hotel listings and the Parkopedia service to find, reserve and pay for parking. And Delivery.com lets you order online from favorite local restaurants, liquor stores, grocery stores and dry cleaners.
Among GM’s tech partners for its Marketplace is Xevo, which last year also began providing in-car e-commerce services for Hyundai vehicles.
Meanwhile, FCA announced it’s getting into this game with a new Uconnect Market that also is a partnership with Xevo. The Market will go live in the second half of 2019 with an over-the-air update for 2019 and 2020 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles that have connectivity and its latest generation of 8.4-inch touchscreens. FCA says the goal is to include all its vehicles by 2022. The Market follows an announcement that FCA would move to a global multimedia and connectivity system powered by Google’s Android and Samsung’s Harman Ignite cloud services. (You might worry about Google knowing any more about your life, but if you have an Android phone, there probably is nothing left to find out.)
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The Market will enable similar location, ordering, special offers and payment services that vary by merchant. It also will offer the option of a Uconnect Wallet to store payment information for use across the market. Domino’s ordering and Shell pump-and-pay services also are on Market’s initial roster, along with ParkWhiz for parking and restaurants through Yelp Reservations.
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