Let Your Phone Pay for Your Car's Fuel
February 22, 2017
Autonomous automobiles aren't taking over American highways yet, but
automation is becoming a bigger part of the driving experience.
A mobile phone app called Shell allows drivers to pay for a fill-up of
gasoline from their in-car touchscreens. No debit or credit cards are
involved, so the process will work for drivers who forgot their wallets.
The downside? The app will take care of the payment, but somebody — in
most states, the driver — still has to get out and manually insert the
fuel pump nozzle into the car's gas tank.
Here's how it works, assuming the user already has downloaded the Shell
app and connected the mobile phone to the car's network. The car's
touchscreen will guide the user to the nearest service station (a Shell
station, of course, considering the app's name).
pulling up to the gas pump, the user enters a PIN code and the gas
pump's number. Payment takes place through ApplePay or PayPal, and a
receipt is displayed onscreen and sent by email.
Then comes the hard part: Get out of the car, unlatch the fuel pump hose
and insert it in the gas tank.
A couple more caveats about the Shell app:
The app works only on iPhones, not on other brands — although developers
say they are working on a version for Android Pay.
The app is available only to owners of certain brands and models of cars
— the Jaguar F-PACE, XE and XF, plus Land Rovers — and it works only in
Britain. Those two car manufacturers and the Shell company, which
collaborated on the app, say it will be rolling out in other global
markets later this year.