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Buying Gas Gets Easier with SAP, Toyota, VeriFone Technology

Bill DiBenedetto | Wednesday July 9th, 2014 | 1 Comment

old station_pete zarriaThe day when technology rules the road gets closer all the time. SAP AG, Toyota InfoTechnology Center and VeriFone have developed a prototype system that features a one-touch screen that directs drivers to the nearest gas station and authorizes payment electronically.

And the driver can even receive personalized coupons! Promotions! Loyalty points!

It’s called connected fueling in the connected vehicle — a brave new world for the fossil-fuel consumer. The companies announced the prototype at the 14th SAP Automotive Forum, early this month in Leipzig, Germany.

Built on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, the device aggregates information on a vehicle’s location, route and fuel level as well as points of interest. VeriFone provides the point-of-sale interface, and Toyota ITC provides telematics data. These processes and information are integrated via the SAP Cloud portfolio and presented in a screen on the Toyota ITC dashboard, allowing drivers to manage the entire transaction in one click.

Here the “use case,” as outlined during a SAP video: A driver is notified when the vehicle is low in fuel. Then the Toyota ITC telematics system recommends a gas station location based on real-time context such as location and the vehicle’s fuel level. It also takes into account a driver’s pre-entered personal preferences, such as preferred gas stations and the stations opting in to the program. When the car arrives at the gas station and stops at the designated pump, the driver can authorize the transaction with a single click from the car or an app on a mobile device. Gas stations may also provide discounts, loyalty points and other coupons based on the driver’s profile. Once fueling is completed, the driver receives an electronic receipt. Drivers can view all previous fueling transactions and easily export them to other systems, such as an expense report.

The system uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), an emerging wireless standard that enables micro-location services. By combining BLE, the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, Toyota ITC telematics system and VeriFone POS systems, the companies have developed a “consumer-centered connected car service.”

Perhaps, as SAP says, it’s a better and “delightful” fueling experience; maybe it’s a more convenient and secure way to gas up. As Gil Perez, senior vice president of Connected Vehicles at SAP, notes: This technology “can help industries — like the automotive or oil and gas businesses — do things simply that weren’t previously possible or even imaginable.”

But to others the question is: Why do this? Is it really so difficult to check the gas gauge and drive to the nearest gas station?

Image credit: Old Station by Pete Zarria via Flickr cc

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