There’s no going around the obvious negative ramifications of this one

General Motors’ grand idea to introduce an in-car digital marketplace is a good idea…on paper. It accomplishes what GM describes as the system does make it easier for us to order food, pay for coffee, or even redeem gas coupons. It’s actually a great idea if you’re a passenger in a car. It’s when you’re the driver of the car that the marketplace idea immediately turns sour.

The system could also lead to more cases of distracted driving

The idea of the Marketplace is what it says it is. It’s basically a digital shopping service that lets commuters make purchases from establishments like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wingstop, TGI Fridays, IHOP, Shell, ExxonMobil, and Parkopedia, all while inside the car. The system is supposed to make our lives easier because we can now order food, reserve a hotel room, or pay for gas, even before we get to the establishments. In theory, the Marketplace could be useful in major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago where concepts like time and convenience are at a premium.

Unfortunately, the system could also lead to more cases of distracted driving. There’s no going around it. When you’re a driver, and you’re ordering something from Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks, there’s no scenario where you’re going to have your eyes fixated on the road. You’re going to look at the screen to see if you order is right, check to see how much it costs, and reach for your wallet to see if your cash situation. National Safety Council President Deborah Hersman hit it in the head when she told Bloomberg that there’s nothing about this system that’s safe. “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,” she added.

GM's New In-Car Marketplace Could Lead to More Distracted Driving
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It’s hard to argue against her point. The system can work if passengers are the ones that use it, not the drivers.

For its part, General Motors’ claims that the system has measures in place to reduce the number of steps required to make a purchase from behind the steering wheel, making it a safer alternative to mobile phone use. It may be right in that sense, but just because it’s “safer” than mobile phone use, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe, to begin with.

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