It should be no surprise at this point that Apple is working on a car. It has been for years, but we still don’t know when it will stop playing coy and just tell us or give us an official picture at least. But with the amount of effort it is putting into CarPlay of late, it could be soon™.
The latest update from the fruit company was unveiled without much fanfare at a developer conference last month. The update will allow CarPlay users to navigate to a petrol station and then buy fuel from their dashboard.
Next stop, cars that refill themselves
While that might sound like a massive step toward the future, in reality, you’re only really skipping a few steps. Basically, you won’t have to get your card out of your wallet to swipe or tap. You’ll probably need Apple Wallet set up. And this isn’t just going to be available everywhere, all at once. Only one American fuel company, Sinclair, has expressed interest in adopting the tech at its petrol stations. Users that want to use the feature will need to download the fuel company’s app on their iPhone and set it up with payment details. So far, that’s only Sinclair. But we’d be surprised if other fuel companies don’t jump aboard.
This is Apple’s latest plot to bring more purchasing features into cars. In other countries, you can already use an app to pay for parking, charge your EV, or order food. Apple currently does not charge car makers, app developers, or users for CarPlay. With the increased focus on adding what the company counts as value, that could change before too long.
Hey, we wanted to do that
Some probably aren’t too pleased with the added functionality at all. Car manufacturers that might’ve been eying adding similar commerce functionality to their vehicles won’t look too kindly on Apple doing it first (and probably better). Mercedes Benz CEO Ola Kaellenius said, at the Reuters Automotive Europe conference in Munich, that the company’s goal was to encompass a complete “Mercedes experience”. Adding the ability to pay for things with your car seems to qualify.
But, like most tech events that happen overseas, this will probably take a while to reach South Africa. If it does at all. Petrol pump attendants needn’t fear for their jobs just yet. Well, maybe a little, if fuel prices remain this high. But they’re unlikely to be displaced by Apple CarPlay any time soon.