General Motors will launch GM Marketplace, a system to order food, beverage and perform other tasks from the car, for every 2017 model year vehicle in the very near future. Shortly after its reveal, safety advocates immediately lashed out and called the system a dangerous addition to the car for already-distracted drivers. Now, GM is pushing back.
WardsAuto reported on Tuesday that Phil Brook, vice president of U.S. sales and marketing at Buick and GMC, said the system is not designed to put drivers in harm’s way.
“We wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize anyone’s safety,” he said.
Some four million vehicles will have access to GM Marketplace from the 2017 model year with a Wi-Fi hotspot and compatible infotainment unit. The push for in-car shopping is a chance for GM to earn a slice of the $57 billion industry that is the on-demand economy.
The National Safety Council previously expressed its concerns over the system and claimed it will absolutely cause more distracted-driving wrecks and deaths.
“With motor vehicle deaths rising, the last thing we want to do is offer drivers another way to be distracted,” said Debbie Hersman, president of the council in the latest report.
However, Brook believes some may misunderstand how the system operates and underscored its simplicity. In the system’s announcement, GM said Marketplace is designed for use while driving and it minimizes manual operation to keep eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel.