We all are moving towards an era where we no longer would have to work; instead robots will do the work for us. For instance, today’s post is all about how gas pumps are about to become more advanced and won’t require any user input at all; autonomous gas pumps are the next big thing. The robot at the gas pump will be a single purpose robot that will only operate to fill your gas tank.
The idea is to fill up the fuel tank of the customer in a more efficient way and without the input of user. One of the companies, which has been working on this concept is Fuelmatics. Sten Corfitsen from Fuelmatics says; ‘People feel that refueling is a boring necessity’. Therefore, it will not come as a surprise if people opt for this system that allows them to take care of this boring necessity without doing much effort. A number of companies in Europe are currently working on this system with the basics of the systems being the same, more or less.
So how does this system work anyway? It is quite simple; you take your vehicle to the gas pump and decide on which pump to use based on the information that where your fuel cap is located. Now you need to make the payment that can be made via a smartphone app or a touchscreen at the pump. Once the payment has been processed, the robot will get to work; it will open your fuel tank and spin the cap off. The next part is the hard part; fueling the tank. If you look at the Fuelmatics system; it employs the use of two cameras to ascertain the precise location of the fuel pipe. Corfitsen says; ‘In an early generation, we used a microwave transponder. It was too difficult for the motorist to get the transponder in the right position.’
The filling up of the tank stops either when the app on your phone says so or when the sensors detect that the tank is full. The spout’s withdrawal begins and once that’s done, you are good to go. Now if you look at the whole thing, the big question which comes to mind is; do we really need such an elaborate system? The answer is; customer convenience is important and if you can guarantee that, then yes, you do need this. Not to mention that if you make the process of fueling autonomous, you take out the human error from the process and this system would even make it possible for disabled persons to refuel.
The system is being designed such that the machine will work with all types of car; old or the latest ones. The system guided by the cameras has made it possible for this system to work with all kinds of cars. According to Corfitsen; ‘The intention is that the early user of this will gain more customers by providing a nice refueling experience.’ The regulatory testing for Fuelmatics robot shall take place late during this year. Although this might result in job loss for pump operators, the system still seems quite feasible with new jobs emerging as technicians for the system.
All in all, this is a great concept and we would like to ask one question; Are we headed towards a future that resembles the one depicted in Wall-E?
Check out the video below for more details: