OnStar Go Puts Retail In The Driver’s Seat

Shoppers interact with brands at numerous points across their purchase journey, whether on a desktop, on a mobile phone or within the store itself. But now IBM and General Motors have teamed up to power a solution that gives consumers one more interaction point — their car.

The technology and automotive giants have combined the vehicle connectivity of OnStar and the data capabilities within IBM Watson APIs to deliver cognitive mobility platform OnStar Go. Debuting in early 2017, OnStar Go is designed to enable drivers of General Motors vehicles to interact directly with the dashboard of their car to access personalized content from their favorite brands.

The cognitive mobility platform enables brands to design Watson-powered consumer experiences. Examples of potential uses include:


  • OnStar Go taps Watson Personality Insights and Watson Conversation APIs to remind a working father to pick up diapers and formula at the pharmacy a few miles before his exit, so he won’t have to leave the house again once he gets home;

  • The platform employs Watson Tradeoff Analytics to give a traveling foodie dining recommendations from celebrity chefs when driving in a new city; and

  • Watson Retrieve and Rank, used by OnStar Go, lets the driver know that her order is ready for pickup at a nearby retail store and one of the store’s employees will load the purchases into the car.

Brands such as Macy’s and The North Face already use IBM Watson’s AI and machine learning capabilities to power more interactive consumer experiences. While there haven’t been any retail brands tied to OnStar Go yet, Mastercard and ExxonMobil are two of the first brands to use the platform.

With OnStar Go, Mastercard will enable drivers and passengers to pay for goods and services from their cars, completing transactions using credit or debit cards stored in their Masterpass wallets.

ExxonMobil will use the cognitive mobility platform to help drivers locate Exxon and Mobil retail fuel stations, recommend the best fuel and lubricant product for their vehicle and authorize fuel payment from inside the vehicle.

“On average, people in the U.S. spend more than 46 minutes per day in their car and are looking for ways to optimize their time,” said Phil Abram, Executive Director of GM Connected Products and Strategy. “By leveraging OnStar’s connectivity and combining it with the power of Watson, we’re looking to provide safer, simpler and better solutions to make our customers’ mobility experience more valuable and productive.”

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