• Vehicles equipped with Apple CarPlay could soon move part of paying for gas at the pump to the dashboard without having to pull out a credit card each time.
  • Exactly how that will work remains a mystery, but the 1,600-station Sinclair network hopes to make CarPlay payments a possibility when the software is updated this fall.
  • GM tried a version of in-dash refueling in 2017 and 2018, but the automaker ended the Marketplace technology last March.

    Much of the hype surrounding simple contactless payments in the automotive space has been around plug-in and charge stations for electric cars, but gas-powered vehicles may not be left out of updates for a more tech-savvy future if rumors of changes at Apple begin CarPlay.

    Reuters reports on the new dashboard fuel payment function is 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 on fuel payments have not been released until now. Reuters confirmed at least one gas station chain owner, HF Sinclair, which sells its brands of diesel and gasoline at more than 1,600 stations in 30 states. The company said it hopes to integrate the new CarPlay payment options with its stations and will provide more details soon.

    “We’re excited about the idea of ​​consumers being able to drive to a Sinclair station and buy fuel from their car’s navigation screen,” HF Sinclair’s Jack Barger told Reuters.

    Gas station pumps are increasingly equipped with contactless faucet readers that can receive payment information from a compatible credit card or digital device such as the Apple Watch. The general idea behind the CarPlay update is that you’ll be able to use your car’s touchscreen to pay for gas without having to pull out your credit card. The technical details of how a car with Apple CarPlay will interact with compatible pumps have not been disclosed by Apple or Sinclair, but you’ll need to download compatible gas station apps for it to work. Once everything is installed, the navigation program will be able to not only direct you to the station, but also start the refueling session.

    Reuters notes that CarPlay can already be used to pay for parking, charge electric cars and order food, saying that the ability to use the software to log kilometers traveled on business trips is also on the horizon.

    A short-term GM experiment

    Five years ago, General Motors introduced a dashboard payment 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 Edge called a “confusing” user interface that required so many steps to operate — logging into the Shell, getting three-digit codes to enter on the pump’s keypad, and more — that customers never contacted the service. GM has discontinued its Marketplace technology in March 2022, telling Reuters that it was because “the supplier went out of business,” but said it planned to implement other similar technology in the future.

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