- Vehicles equipped with Apple CarPlay might soon move the payment part of gassing up at the pump to the dashboard, without the need to pull out a credit card each time.
- Exactly how this will all work remains a bit under wraps, but the 1600-station Sinclair network hopes to make CarPlay payments an option when the software is updated this fall.
- GM tried a version of in-dash fueling in 2017 and 2018, but the automaker ended the Marketplace technology behind the service this past March.
Most of the hype surrounding easy, contactless payments in the automotive space has to do with plug-and-charge electric vehicle stations, but gas-powered vehicles might not be left out of updates to a more tech-driven future if rumors about changes coming to Apple CarPlay pan out.
Reuters is reporting on a new, dashboard-based fuel payment feature scheduled to be released this fall in an updated version of CarPlay. While Apple apparently showed off the feature at its developer conference in June, details about the fuel payments were not made public until now. Reuters has confirmed with at least one gas station chain owner, HF Sinclair, which markets its diesel and gasoline brands at over 1600 stations in 30 states. The company said that it hopes to integrate the new CarPlay payment options with its stations and will provide more details soon.
“We are excited by the idea that consumers could navigate to a Sinclair station and purchase fuel from their vehicle navigation screen,” HF Sinclair’s Jack Barger told Reuters.
Gas station pumps have increasingly been equipped with contactless tap readers that can get payment information from a compatible credit card or a digital device like an Apple Watch. The general idea for the CarPlay update is that you will be able to use your car’s touchscreen to pay for fuel without the need to pull out a credit card. The technical details of how a car with Apple CarPlay will communicate with compatible pumps was not divulged by Apple or Sinclair, but you will need to download compatible gas station apps in order to make it work. Once everything is installed, the navigation app will be able to not only direct you to a station but also be able to start the refueling session.
CarPlay can already be used to pay for parking sessions, EV charging, and ordering food, Reuters notes, saying that the ability to use the software to log miles driven on business trips is also on the horizon.
GM’s Short-Lived Experiment
Five years ago, General Motors introduced a pay-from-the-dashboard feature in some 2017 and 2018 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models, but the technology only worked at some Shell stations and was accompanied by what The Verge called a “baffling” user interface that required so many steps to make work – registering with Shell, getting three-digit codes that needed to be entered into the pump’s keyboard and more—that customers never really took to the service. GM shut down its Marketplace technology in March 2022, telling Reuters it was because of “a supplier exiting the business,” but said it plans to introduce another, similar technology in the future.
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