GM's 'Digital Marketplace' Under Fire Just a Day After It Was Announced
After announcing its new in-car marketplace earlier this week, General Motors is taking some heat from the National Safety Council. While we weren’t entirely sold on the shopping service either, our concerns revolved mainly around the automaker’s initial push into consumer data acquisition and targeted advertising.
We glossed over the safety angle, for the most part, mainly because we hadn’t yet played with the feature. However, the council’s worries focus squarely on the potential risk for distracted driving.
Upon marketplace’s release, GM tried to make clear that the service took those dangers into account, offering what it claims is a safer alternative to mobile phone use. But National Safety Council President Deborah Hersman believes the app will only create more accidents, hinting at the role cumbersome in-car technologies may have played in last year’s 5.6-percent rise in U.S. auto fatalities.
“There’s nothing about this that’s safe,” Bloomberg reported Hersman as stating. “If this is why they want Wi-Fi in the car, we’re going to see fatality numbers go up even higher than they are now.”
Based upon a presentation made by CEO Mary Barra at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference, GM definitely wants onboard wireless internet for additional revenue streams and supporting “adjacent businesses.” But, like many automakers, it also said it wants widespread car connectivity to help ensure the effective implementation of autonomous features.
The NSC has previously supported self-driving cars and has even gone so far to praise the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Federal Automated Vehicle Policy for “giving carmakers and states the green light to innovate.” But it has also been critical of automakers for using misleading nomenclature for advanced driver assistance technologies, claiming it confuses drivers by giving them the false impression that these systems are fully autonomous.
In the case of GM’s marketplace, spokesman Vijay Iyer reiterated that the digital shopping service was designed with voluntary driver-distraction guidelines agreed to by car companies in mind. He also stated that the app intentionally minimizes the number of steps required to make a purchase from behind the wheel.
[Image: General Motors]
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Leave it to GM to trip over their own two feet and land face-first in a roadapple pile.
I assumed that this wouldn't function while the car was in motion. I take it that's not true?