The days of automakers leveraging traditional auto sales as the singular driver of revenue are long gone. Strange though it may seem at first glance, this reality is one that everyone in the automotive world must understand and account for (from dealerships to vendors and other service providers), lest they be left behind in the immutable tide of change that is currently sweeping across an industry that has otherwise remained static and stationary for countless years and decades.
A quick look around the industry, from Mercedes-Benz's vehicle subscription service to Toyota investing $1 billion in ride-sharing service Grab, helps hammer this point home in a major way.
However, as Andrew J. Hawkins of The Verge reports, General Motor's (GM) recent partnership with food delivery service DoorDash might be the most intriguing of these exploratory ventures outside of traditional automotive manufacturing yet.
So just want does GM have in mind when it comes to ordering food straight from the comfort of your couch? As Hawkins goes on to detail in his recap of this announcement, one of Detroit's legacy members of the automotive community has entered a partnership with DoorDash, via Cruise Automation (the company's self-driving branch), to test autonomous Chevrolet vehicles as part of expanded operations within this food delivery service.
In other words, if Cruise Automation and DoorDash have their way, the next time you pull up the DoorDash app, your favorite guilty pleasure meal will arrive hot and fresh via a driverless Chevy Bolt or similar vehicle.
Naturally, this move is simply GM testing the waters of a potential new path for its self-driving aspirations. Even so, a successful launch of a partnered food delivery service with a company like DoorDash could lead the automotive giant to divest itself even further away from the traditional car buying process – not to mention the fact that a move like this will also exacerbate the toll that self-driving vehicles will most certainly take on individuals currently trying to earn income via the emergent "gig economy" who find themselves out of work as automation continues to rise to the forefront.
The pilot program, set for deployment in "early 2019," will cover a portion of the San Francisco metropolitan area – a place where Cruise Automation currently has 180 vehicles registered via the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Are you a Chevy dealer that wants to learn even more about the latest machinations of GM – like this pilot project – that focus on revenue streams outside of your showroom floor? Then be sure to catch the full scoop from Hawkins over on The Verge and follow along as the Remora team keeps you updated on all of the latest happenings in the shared space between tech, web development, and automotive.