Mobile 2 Go Blog: Talking Cars

'Telematics' models begin to emerge for computerized cars connecting to pumps

WALLDORF, Germany -- The move from the imagination to actual implementation is accelerating with regards to "talking" cars and their ability to connect with payment and messaging at the pump.

Mobile 2 Go Blog (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations / Technology)

The latest announcement has come from SAP, which said it is partnering with Toyota and VeriFone to connect the dots.

Here's how their version works: The driver is notified when the vehicle is low on fuel. Then, the telematics system from the Mountain View, Calif.-based Toyota InfoTechnology Center USA (ITC) kicks in, with the vehicle recommending a gas station location based on the car's location and the its fuel level. It also takes into account a driver's pre-entered personal preferences such as preferred gas stations and which stations have opted into the program.

When the car arrives into a gas station and stops at the pump, the driver can authorize the transaction with a single click from his or her car or 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 export them to other systems, such as an expense report.

The system uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) or so-called "beacon" technology, 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 three companies have developed a connected car service.

Currently, drivers need to deal with multiple systems to find the gas stations that fit their needs. When they arrive at the pump, drivers must authorize payment by swiping a card and punching in various identification codes, or paying the gas station attendant with cash. With this prototype, consumers can use a one-touch, one-screen solution to navigate to the closest gas station, authorize automatic payment electronically and receive personalized coupons

"Our collaboration with SAP and Toyota creates an exciting commerce experience that transcends payment by delivering convenience, value and unique interactions between merchants and their customers," said Vin D'Agostino, senior vice president of commerce enablement, VeriFone, San Jose, Calif. "VeriFone has a long history of delivering secure payment technology, targeted content and more to many of the world's leading petroleum brands, helping them leverage the latest available technologies to unlock new revenue opportunities."

"SAP innovation continues to make connected cars closer to becoming a reality for consumers," said Gil Perez, senior vice president, connected vehicles, SAP, Walldorf, Germany. "Our collaboration with Toyota ITC and VeriFone is transforming business models and offering people a simple and intuitive user experience. Our cloud and SAP HANA technology can help industries--like the automotive or oil and gas businesses--do things simply that weren't previously possible or even imaginable."

So while we're not there yet, the pace is ramping up.

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