Commentary

Chevy, Shell Let Drivers Pay For Gas From Car Screen

Chevy and Shell are working together so car owners can pay for gas from their dashboard.

This is hardly an end game, but a step in the right direction for connected cars.

In a video describing how it works, Rick Ruskin, senior manager of online commerce at Chevrolet, walks the viewer through the steps.

The Chevy he is in has stopped at a Shell gas station where Ruskin describes the feature that allows you to “pay for your fuel with a tap of the infotainment touchscreen.”

The system knows the location of the vehicles, as any good connected car should. Here’s what the process of paying for gas from a dashboard looks like, as described by Ruskin.

  1. “I can start the whole process by just tapping the Pay & Save button.”
  2. I simply enter my pump number. (checks to see that he is at pump 11, so enters “11” onto the dashboard screen.
  3. Click “OK” on screen.
  4. From multiple selection options, one is selected by touching the screen again.
  5. “It asks for a Shell Pay & Save PIN, which I set up when I registered for Fuel Rewards and Shell Pay & Save. That allows me to safely transact and pay for my fuel.”
  6. Enters that PIN Number into screen.
  7. Clicks “OK” on the touchscreen.
  8. “With one last tap of the dash, I can authorize my payment.” Taps “Confirm” on screen.
  9. “Ready to pump my fuel.”
  10. Driver gets out of car, walks to pump.
  11.  “The first thing I do (at the pump) is enter the three-digit activation code I was supplied, which confirms I’m at the right pump.”
  12. “I’m good to begin fueling.”
  13. When I get back into my vehicle, I can confirm that $10.42 has been charged to my credit card on file.”

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“As you can see, I didn’t touch my credit card or my cell phone,” says Ruskin.

Aside from this sounding like a "Saturday Night Live" skit about mobile-mobile payments, highlighting how it is much faster to pay by a traditional credit or debit card, this is progress.

As technology, sensors and communication speeds advance, some of the steps Ruskin shows will be totally automated. The car will know which pump it is at, which credit card is generally used and user identification will be automatically confirmed, both in the car and at the pump, without typing anything.

For now, new Chevy and other General Motors car owners can begin to dabble, establish accounts and at least start to get a feel for where connected cars are heading.

The smartphone is not part of that equation.

2 comments about "Chevy, Shell Let Drivers Pay For Gas From Car Screen".
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  1. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , April 28, 2018 at 9:47 p.m.

    WOW, how much does that add to your life to save you 20 steps to the  island office or all that energy needed to swipe the card at the pump???   GEEZ.............all good till the car gets hacked with your ID, bank info credit card #............cuz you know  it's gonna happen.
    What if Marathion across the street is cheaper............???? Sorry only hooked to Shell.
    WHAT A SCAM, and there will be many people , mostly millennials , who will love this except they will have to put down the phone to click on the dash board.  Wasn't too long ago  that screens on a dashboard were illegal, because they ARE A DISTRACTION.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, April 29, 2018 at 10:26 a.m.

    Good points, Mark, though these are only interim steps to the automating of the process.

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