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GM puts an e-commerce marketplace in the dashboard (reuters.com)
25 points by hownottowrite 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 33 comments

So at launch this will only have Shell, Exxon Mobil, TGI Fridays, Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. None of those are even within twenty miles of me. I can imagine the usefulness now...

Driving past Speedway and get bombarded with an advertisement for Shell and Exxon Mobil.

Drive past McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, Arby's, Waffle House and Wendy's (all in my town) and get blasted with advertisements for TGI Fridays who closed the only one near me last year leaving the closest location 40+ miles away.

Drive past the local Coffee/Donut Shop (which are great and cheap) and get advertisements for Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts.

How freaking useful. /s

Other than learning how to disable this, just like with OnStar, this provides absolutely zero benefit for me and people I know.

OnStar was the single biggest reason by far that my most recent car purchase was a Honda instead of a GM product. Now GM is adding spam to the mix? They seem hell-bent on pushing me away from their products.

They should also play ads on the dash screen. I have already encountered it in Delta airlines, in the screen in the back of the seat in front.

I'm thinking the economy car market is going to head the way of the economy PC/laptop market and the low cost inkjet printer market. Every manufacturer will converge on a model where crap devices are sold with no margin and all the money is made via after-market schemes. With PCs/laptops this was pre-loading malware and other "foistware." Same happens with lower-end Android phones. With printers it was expensive ink. With cars it will be ads and surveillance.

This is the dark side of competition and is what happens when all margin on the actual product is crushed out of an industry. It's known as a deflationary race to the bottom. Product quality goes to hell and greasy "monetization" schemes replace simple sales at a profit as the primary source of revenue.

Another place you can see this effect of deflationary race to the bottom very clearly is media, where click bait and filler and various forms of tabloid and "fake news" is now the norm. Good editorial writing and real investigative journalism costs money, so it's dead. The model now is to churn out absolutely vapid "content" as a vehicle to carry ads and get clicks/impressions.

In the future you'll have to buy a luxury car if you want a car that is of decent quality and doesn't spy on you or constantly pester you with ads. Same is true today for PCs and laptops. You have to buy premium (Apple, high-end Dell, etc.) to get a laptop that doesn't come pre-loaded with malware and that has anything like a decent build quality.

“Financed by the merchants...” I’m trying to think of a scenario where this ends well. I apparently lack imagination. I mean, Apple tries very hard to discourage me from using my phone while driving (I have to push a button that say, “I’m a shithead who thinks he’s the exception that can drive while looking at a phone”). How hard do you think those “financing merchants” are going to try?

This is just ahead of the curve, self driving cars are coming /s

Augmented Reality seems to be the only answer to useless and invasive technology and excessive advertising. I foresee uBlock and Ad-Block will most likely be working with AR in the future.

How'd you turn this on? It doesn't happen on my mother's phone and she fiddles with it when driving.

Go to Settings, focus the search text box at the top of the screen. Enter “driving”, it should show “DND while driving”. Turn that on. Not much of a deterrent, because there's a "I'm not driving button" when you try and use your phone. That's understandable, since I doubt "Fuck everybody else, I've got toots to post!" would fit in the modal, and localization would be difficult.

I also thought it was the default, but obviously not.

I use the "I'm not driving" button because notifications come when I'm on the bus and train.

Interesting, I guess seeing a familiar BT ID is just one of the pieces of sensor data it looks at. I know it checks if you’re moving (I get notifications in my garage after the car is started but not moving), I just didn’t know it would rely solely on that.

In my province there are now more traffic deaths related to distracted driving than impaired driving, and yet new cars are featuring ever more and more ways to distract the driver.

Is it time for government regulators to step in?

On Subaru’s they disable functionality related to Bluetooth pairing when you are driving . This would be a good solution for things like these.

On the other hand touch screens don’t let you have tactile or muscle memory which is probably a big part which would add to distractions . And your point about that these should be regulated I agree with .

> On Subaru’s they disable functionality related to Bluetooth pairing when you are driving

I have always felt that ends up incentivizing simply using the device itself, which seems to be less safe than letting the car take control and using the functions that are designed to be used while driving.

Ideally people wouldn't feel the need to use their phone while driving at all, but the world is far from ideal.

Ideally people wouldn't feel the need to use their phone while driving at all

I understand what you’re saying, and agree, but I just want to play some tunes. On our Nissan Leaf, it takes seven taps on the screen to get BT to connect to my phone, because my phone isn’t the “default”. Seven, and plenty of opportunity to make a wrong choice along the way. And I have to do this every time the car restarts, and it can only be done while the car’s not moving. The car has a list of known devices, it just refuses to iterate through them. Real incentive to use the safer option, that is.

New rule at our house: car either has CarPlay, dash unit can be swapped for something with CarPlay, or it doesn’t come home.

I drove a Leaf for a while, and while I do agree the center console had its share of UX issues, I think you are being a bit too demanding. For the default paired phone, the Leaf will re-connect with zero taps, just do it automatically. So you're probably in a shared car--yay, single electric car households are the future--and since you say you only want music, the solution is to leave a USB cable in the car. I was in exactly the same situation: my wife's phone was the default because she used it to make hands-free calls while driving. When I used the car and listen to music, I just plug in, and get my phone charged as a bonus. Do other cars/manufacturers handle multiple paired phones better?

By the way, beyond all the branding and advertising in the video, the gassing up was another huge "do not want" for me. It's like people are ignoring that cars of the future will be electric.

I think you are being a bit too demanding.

Had I not previously written code that handles this exact scenario, I might agree. Hell, my iPhone does this exact thing to determine whether or not I'm driving. "Are we driving? I dunno, let's go iterate through all of the automotive BT IDs that I know about. Whoop, I see the Leaf's BT, I guess we're driving." I see no reason that the Leaf can't go, "hmm, I don't see the wife's phone. But I do see mikestew's phone, and that's in my list of known devices. I'll throw a prompt asking, or maybe that's too intrusive so I'll put a one-touch button on the screen to connect. But what I absolutely, positively won't do is make the driver push seven goddamned buttons to connect to a device I already know about."

I know this can be done because when I did work for a major athletic shoe maker, they put incredibly low-powered and incredibly dumb BT pucks in their shoes. In an amazing show of optimism, what if the customer bought two pairs of these over-priced shoes? And the implementation I wrote eight years ago did not involve seven taps. (IIRC, it was along the lines of "I don't see your usual basketball shoes, but I see the running shoes. Wanna use those?")

That's why this annoys me more than it should.

Do other cars/manufacturers handle multiple paired phones better?

The single-DIN, $89 head unit in our old VW does this better. You push a single button. (The downside is that it only pairs with two phones and an audio device.) It connects to the last thing it saw by default. The $700 Pioneer (would have to look up the model #) that replaced our Scion OEM unit connects to the last device it saw, and if that doesn't do it, three taps to connect (Settings/BT Connect/Device). Oh, that reminds me of another annoyance with the Leaf: one of those seven button taps is to decide between "Hands-free" or "audio device". <AverageUser>Well, how the fuck should I know? No other thing I own asks this question.</AverageUser> Because the Pioneer and the skeezy $89 Kenwood both say, "meh, don't worry about it, I'll load the appropriate profile depending on what you want to do. I mean, hell, it's pretty stupid to put a CPU in here if I can't even figure out that simple task, amirite? LOL!"

Android Auto support was a key feature in my last auto purchase. It's very handy for dealing with phone calls and text messages. Less good for handling audio apps. AA has a 6-tap limit to prevent too much "browsing" while driving and voice support is sketchy for the audio apps. I'm probably less safe as I try to navigate around the tap limit or just pick up my phone and select a playlist.

i.e. You don't own your car. GM owns ad space inside your car.

Exactly, this also goes for amazon as well. Because GM is their partner in this.

Sadly it is becoming difficult to get a nice car without all these extra(and unwanted) features....

With proper right-to-repair documentation, one could remove unwanted software from the car.

Well, so much for buying a GM Vehicle any time in the future.

Unless this significantly drops the price of their cars vs. their competition (it won't) I'm not sure how this benefits drivers / consumers. For that reason alone I imagine this is not a good idea.

Not only will it be a disastrously bad shopping experience, it will cause death and carnage.

This is exactly the kind of ridiculously crazy stuff they come up with with board rooms when the sycophants don't have enough balls to tell their leaders they are nuts.

It's good to be ambitious, this is just stupid.

Now - if they could make it so you could get your car filled up and 'pay with your car' i.e. no credit cards, buttons or transactions - that would be a great convenience, and surely people in colder countries would use it.

Fix the 'getting gas' paint point which is huge.

That's fixed already: it's called an electric car. Get in your car in the morning and it is charged up and pre-warmed. Drive sportily but quietly and without pollution to your destination. If it's far away, plug in while eating and/or shopping. No need to stop anywhere with carcinogenic fumes and dirty pumps to pay for conflict-gasoline.

It's not remotely fixed yet, the amount of electricity needed + infrastructure is massive + the electricity we generate is not exactly clean.

And once this is common - you will not be 'shopping' - you will be 'working'.

I worked for BlackBerry and watched the world transform to 'off time is now on time'.

Basically - 'after hours' became accessible to managers - now commute times will be as well.

It will be good for skilled labour/trades. They will still get paid by the hour ... while white collar workers will now be putting in an extra 50 mins a day on average, no extra comp :)

I'm not sure which ax you need to grind here, but electric cars surely solve the pump-gas-in-the-cold-problem you brought up (not to mention a whole lot of other gasoline-related problems).

> Not only will it be a disastrously bad shopping experience, it will cause death and carnage.

Sure, but think of all of those billions of dollars they could make! We're talking about GM here. Passenger and driver safety is not exactly their top concern:


> It's good to be ambitious, this is just stupid.

Welcome to late stage capitalism.

Soon you'll get 30 day trials of virus checkers preinstalled.

I imagine quite a few GM customers use CarPlay or Android Connect. This sounds like a move designed to ensure that even more use them. If there's anything in it, I fully expect Apple and Google to develop something better for their platform that is better - would GM disable it?

So how does this interact with the current in car experience? If I am playing music will it show me the song or the nearest starbucks?

The plan for this is likely that it really takes off once self driving cars become the norm. When people are no longer required to pay attention to the road during their commute, they've got much more time to become consumers. GM wants to profit from this consumerist time as much as they can by having an in car marketplace to compete with you phones/tablets.

This doesn't make much sense for cars that aren't self driving, it's just about getting it to market asap.

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