With the way technology is going, wondering where the next innovations will take us is always a delightful mystery. In this technological 21st century, there are so many ways to use technology now than we could have ever imagined in the 90s, and—if 2018 has been any indication of what is to come—there are still plenty of innovations to be discovered.
On that note, what if we were to tell you that it’s now possible to make a reservation for a restaurant while driving without having to use a phone? What if you could get a list of recommendations for a place to eat at by filtering through various local recommendations without having to take your hands off of the wheel?
These are both features that the Buick Marketplace aims to find solutions to. As a new feature for all Buick and GM brand cars, the Marketplace is a brand-new feature that is meant to change the way drivers interact with their car without sacrificing the concentration required to drive safely on the road. Any car that supports the feature will be graced with what is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) specifically for cars, something that is really unique for automobiles.
What Exactly is the Buick Marketplace?
You may not have thought that productivity while driving was something that necessarily could be increased, but Marketplace aims to change the dynamic between a driver and their car. Of course, it should be stated explicitly that Marketplace isn’t AI that is dependent on a screen, as that would make the innovation counterintuitive to safe driving.
To put it simply, Marketplace acts as an app that can be used in your car that is able to order products and book reservations by listening to voice commands. It does this by sorting through a list of businesses within a 25-mile-radius of the car, letting users ask the AI to recommend them a place to eat or purchase specific items by filtering through various lists, reviews, and descriptions of what a business’ specialty is.
This doesn’t only include ordering items to be delivered to you or making reservations, though—you can place delivery or pick-up orders at locations such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Shell, and even Applebee’s. Though there are currently only certain businesses that are compatible with the app, it’s still an incredible feat for any type of AI to do within the context of a car.
It also does not require wifi to function, making it a truly accessible service for anybody who has a compatible car. Though many of the compatible models that work with Marketplace are able to have wifi, it’s good to know that you don’t have to use or pay for that feature to be able to use Marketplace.
Why was it created?
One of the biggest reasons as to why the Marketplace app was created was to save consumers time. John McFarland, the GM Director of Global Digital Experience & Connected Vehicles, said that they wanted to create the Marketplace as a means of helping drivers avoid losing time by having to pull over on the side of the road to answer messages or make plans. Because of how inconvenient this can be when you’re in a rush or on the highway, users might be tempted to use their phone while driving, another thing that the Marketplace was created to solve.
With the need to check your phone while on the road, the overall safety of drivers who use Marketplace will be improved, allowing them to not have to worry about staying on track while traveling.
An Ambitious App
Ultimately, what Marketplace asks of the automobile industry is to create an experience for drivers that allows them to get things done while on the road. Though this might seem like a confusing premise given how many automobile-related fatalities there are, Marketplace actually functions as a solution to this problem. Because people will be trying to look at their phones for minute details while driving anyway, it makes sense that automobile companies should be aiming to decrease this trend by giving drivers more intuitive ways to stay focused while driving.
Though there is only a specific selection of businesses at the moment that are compatible with the app, more businesses are being added that will inevitably make Marketplace one of the most innovative and helpful features you can have in a car. We’re curious to see how Marketplace will change over the years and can’t wait to see how it continues to progress as one of the most unique innovations of the automobile industry in years!