GM's 'Digital Marketplace' Under Fire Just a Day After It Was Announced

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
gms 8216 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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  • Dantes_inferno Dantes_inferno on Dec 06, 2017

    Leave it to GM to trip over their own two feet and land face-first in a roadapple pile.

  • Brn Brn on Dec 06, 2017

    I assumed that this wouldn't function while the car was in motion. I take it that's not true?

    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Dec 06, 2017

      Well, I can't pair my phone to my cousin's 2014 Silverado while its being driven (even if I'm not driving, but of course the truck doesn't know that), so I also assumed this wouldn't be accessible while the vehicle is being driven.

  • Lou_BC You'd think cops would have an understanding of the laws they are supposed to enforce.
  • Merlyn I’m on my second Spark and love it! I can pass any car I’ve never had a problem going up a hill it does just fine. As for cargo I can fit three suitcases, two book bags and still have the front seat for a passenger. Not sure what point this guy is trying to make. I have hand free phone service and Sirius radio plug in my phone and have navigation. I would buy another spark in a heartbeat.
  • Buickman I won't own one and I'll be happy!
  • Jeanbaptiste Ever since y’all started sending your damn geese down here we’re just been waiting for one of you to show up.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, this woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗