The latest CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas confirmed it: as cars connect increasingly with their surroundings, this opens up new possibilities.
Now, combined with operating systems, apps, and artificial intelligence, cars can simplify our everyday lives by becoming a reliable and efficient means of payment. Jump in, we’ll show you around.
Automatric: easy and safe refuelling
Filling up on fuel is a necessity. But it’s rarely a particularly pleasant task, we know….so why not speed up the process – let’s get it over with as quickly as possible!
That’s the principle behind Automatric, a unique payment system created by Oney’s Spanish subsidiary. The idea came from an employee who wanted to end long queues at service stations.
Sign up and get moving
It’s really easy to use: the customer just registers his licence plate and bank card beforehand via the dedicated, secure app or website.
Participating service stations (over one hundred in Spain and Portugal), fitted with cameras, read the car’s number plate and automatically connect to the bank card. All the customer has to do is serve himself and enter his pin code at the pump, on his smartphone or on the car dashboard to validate the payment directly.
Reassurance and preference
Everyone benefits, starting with the driver. He saves time, he’ll never serve himself the wrong fuel and doesn’t even need to take his bank card out. More importantly, he can monitor his budget with the help of a fixed payment limit which he sets on the website beforehand. The service is even available at hydrogen and electrical recharge points. From the supplier’s point of view, it means more traffic and a customer experience that encourages loyalty, while being another step in the direction of driverless cars.
Why stop there when the road looks so good?
After service stations, the system easily extends to car parks, drive-through supermarkets or take away food outlets…in short, any situation where a car is required, and that’s not all. France is currently testing the system before roll-out; leading car manufacturers are looking at integrating Automatric into their new models. When you consider that the average driver spends more than 260 hours per year in his car (a third of which is looking for a parking space), the system has a bright future.
First the car, then the connected service station
In China, Shell, in partnership with Alibaba, has been making connected car drivers happy for some time.
Picture this: You are driving your car. As you approach a service station, your dashboard lets you know. You get closer and the connected service station recognises you. Based on your car’s features and your buying habits, it knows what type of fuel you use and, what’s more, if you prefer mints to chocolate!
You don’t even have to get out of your car
With just one click on your dashboard, you confirm your order. Once you get to the pump, you don’t even have to get out of your car, an employee comes and fills up your tank.
To pay, you just confirm the payment directly via the Alipay app or your Shell account.
How does it work?
It’s simple. The system works via the connected car’s operating system and geo-fencing which lets the service station detect the car as it approaches. Result: no need to have cash on you, time spent halved, a sense of security for drivers who no longer need to get out of the car and the combination encourages preference and builds loyalty. Quite simply, everything accelerates!
Photo credit: Automatric