By on December 6, 2017

GM marketplace

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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11 Comments on “GM’s ‘Digital Marketplace’ Under Fire Just a Day After It Was Announced...”


  • avatar

    What if I don’t want to pay for wifi in my new Camaro?

  • avatar
    Eggshen2013

    Do I really need to shop while driving? No.
    Do any of us?

  • avatar
    brettc

    Between this and the backup lights coming on as nightlights, I wonder what GM is thinking.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I can’t believe the reverse lights coming on hasn’t been banned yet. The issue is that the feature is fine for the vehicle owner. It adds a nice amount of light around my truck. When the shoe is on the other foot, and it’s someone else’s vehicle, it’s infuriating. You don’t know if they are coming at you or not.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Agreed. I hate that!

      I’m driving down an aisle in a parking lot. As I am behind it, a Tahoe’s brake lamps come on, then reverse lamps, then the brake lamps go out, giving all indications that the driver has applied the brake to shift out of park, has selected reverse, and then took their foot off the brake to begin backing up. Next, my heart jumps in my throat as I anticipate being backed into by a careless driver. Then I see someone walking towards the truck casually and I realize what really happened. “Phuck you, GM” I think to myself.

      One day, as we are trained to ignore the above sequence of events, we’ll go ahead and walk/drive into the path of a vehicle that’s actually reversing.

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

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

  • avatar
    brn

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

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      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.

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