A Shell station in Beijing is testing out tech developed through a joint venture between Alibaba Group and SAIC Motor Corp., called Banma Network Technology.
The vision here is a 'smart gas station' that can automatically detect when a driver arrives, and everything from selecting fuel types to payment can be done with just a few taps on the car’s touchscreen display. Banma plans to launch the first one in China’s capital within the first half of this year, and then expand to other Chinese cities.
Leveraging its cloud computing technology, Alibaba’s operating system for IoT devices, AliOS, uses geo-fencing algorithms to sense when a car pulls into a designated spot alongside the pumps, automatically triggering the system. The monitor then lets consumers pick fuel types, select the amount of gas they need, and they can choose to pay via Alipay or their Shell membership accounts. They can also buy snacks and other items from the station’s grocery store, and have staff bring purchased items to the car.
The new model could cut the average 10-15 minutes spent at gas stations by up to 50%, according to Shell.
Further details here.