A new in-car application from General Motors Co. that lets drivers order coffee and browse for hotels while behind the wheel has been met with outcry from a prominent safety group.
The app, dubbed Marketplace, allows drivers to browse deals and place orders through an in-dash touchscreen with several major brands such as Starbucks Corp., TGI Friday’s, Priceline.com and Dunkin’ Donuts Inc.
National Safety Council President Deborah Hersman says the app will contribute to distracted driving, already a factor in a quarter of all vehicle crashes and hurt efforts to stem rising auto fatalities, which grew 5.6 percent to more than 37,000 in the U.S. last year.
“There’s nothing about this that’s safe,” Hersman said. “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.”
GM said Tuesday it will launch the app on millions of 2017 and 2018 model year vehicles equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots and compatible systems.
A major goal of GM’s service is to provide a simpler, safer alternative to using smartphones to place mobile orders, GM spokesman Vijay Iyer said, noting it’s designed in accordance with voluntary driver-distraction guidelines agreed to by car companies. The apps also have limits to how many steps a user must complete to place an order, typically three to four, he said.
©2017 Bloomberg L.P.
Read Skift Table for Essential News on the Business of Restaurants
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to follow industry trends, creativity, and innovation as we help define the future of dining out.
U.K. Casual-Dining Continues Crumble With Gaucho Collapse
1 day ago
Casual-dining chains often end up in the position of overpaying for real estate in order to be where the people are right now, as opposed to building up a clientele like a neighborhood joint would. They also have to deal with more complicated financial deals that make it difficult to weather shifts in consumer tastes.