GM closes Marketplace, the app that lets you buy gas and coffee from your car’s screen

General Motors is shutting down its in-car shopping app, Marketplace, which allows customers to purchase coffee, pay for gas or make restaurant reservations from the infotainment screen of their vehicles. The service will be discontinued in March 2022. (The news was first reported by CNBC.)

First introduced in 2017, the app was part of GM’s mission to redesign the driving experience with more smartphone-like features and to create new revenue streams through partnerships with third-party companies. When announced, GM described Marketplace as “the industry’s first trading platform for on-demand reservations and purchases of goods and services.”

GM said its plans to close Marketplace were the result of the departure of Xevo, a provider of connected car software. But this doesn’t mean the end of GM’s efforts to make in-car shopping a thing: The automaker says it will likely roll out a new service in the near future. And car owners can still buy things on their infotainment screens through third-party apps.

“Based on our lessons and evolving customer needs and preferences, GM is building on and expanding its existing voice, apps and mapping capabilities to better integrate commerce capabilities across vehicles,” said a spokesperson.

The decision to close Marketplace represents the flip side of the connected car future that automakers typically don’t talk about. While they like to tout the benefits of over-the-air software updates and security benefits like vehicle-to-everything communication, they don’t elaborate on how quickly these features can be taken away if they’re not growing customers or justifying their costs. through income.

Marketplace’s mind-boggling user experience probably didn’t do it justice. For example, when purchasing gas at a Shell station, customers were required to register with Shell first and then receive a PIN that had to be entered at the pump to authorize the fuel purchase. There were multiple levels of authentication, even for the most benign purchase. It was a far cry from the coveted “frictionless” experience that most tech companies aspire to.

Brands are salivating at the idea of ​​buying up screen space in connected cars. And with autonomous driving on the horizon, the idea of ​​passengers as a captive audience becomes more and more likely — and more profitable. Ford and BMW are integrating Amazon’s Alexa into their latest shopping and smart home control models, and Audi is partnering with Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba and other Chinese tech giants to build integrated services in its autonomous cars.

Frank Broholm had acquired considerable experience in writing and editing publications before recruited by The Media Today Chronicle News portal as Editorial Manager. His key task is to conduct effective business reviews based on the most recent business…