Innovation That Matters

Gas pumps that give directions

Publishing & Media

It’s a well-known fact that at least half of all drivers—those with a Y chromosome, in particular—abhor having to ask for directions when they’re on unfamiliar ground. Fortunately, help may soon be at hand with new, Google-equipped gas pumps that can tell you which way to go. Announced earlier this month—and already covered fairly widely in the technology press—Gilbarco Veeder-Root‘s new Applause media system lets consumers display maps, find local listings, and print driving directions and money-saving coupons right at the pump. The technology is an extension of Gilbarco’s SMART Merchandising System for delivering promotions and coupons at the fuel dispenser, and brings the power of Google to gas customers through a live internet connection. Users can view maps on the pump’s screen, search Google’s local business listings by category (restaurant, hospital, gift shop, etc.), and print easy-to-read driving directions to go right on the pump’s receipt printer. The technology is expected to start appearing in gas stations throughout the U.S. next month, and could result in increased sales for those that use it. “Getting directions at the pump is safer than using internet-enabled devices from the driver’s seat and far more reliable than just asking a stranger,” explains Kirsten Paust, vice president of global retail systems at North Carolina-based Gilbarco Veeder-Root. “We believe consumers will prefer convenience stores that deliver useful information and ultimate convenience. Retailers who use these tools will make themselves more valuable to consumers and gain the competitive edge.” U.S. fuel retailers: You won’t want to be late on this one. Those in other countries: time to start making enquiries! Spotted by: Kundan Sen


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