Fed up of waiting in line at the gas station while coming to terms with rocketing gasoline prices? Well Apple could be here to help by letting you pay for gas in your car via the Apple CarPlay screen.
Flagged by Reuters (opens in new tab), this feature appears to have been quietly launched at WWDC 2022, with iOS 16 supporting new app categories for “fuel and driving tasks." Among those tasks is the ability to pay for gas from your car’s infotainment screen, as well as other things like access toll road information and breakdown assistance.
Apple’s developer guidelines (opens in new tab) note that this change is for fueling apps and driving tasks that aren’t related to navigation; probably because you’re expected to use Apple Maps, or one of its competitors, for that sort of thing. One example used is a tool to help you log mileage in the event of needing to expense the trip for business reasons.
These new guidelines join various other useful CarPlay features, including the ability to pay for parking, ordering food to your car, and EV charging. Electric cars are growing in popularity, but gasoline is still needed, so it makes sense that Apple would want to integrate that into CarPlay.
Fueling apps are specifically mentioned as needing “meaningful functionality," and not just a list of nearby gas stations. Apps are also only allowed to reveal the location of fueling stations if a map is involved.
Off the top of our heads we can think of a couple of ways fueling apps could make themselves more useful. Showing real time gas prices is one option, so people know where to find cheap gas, as is the option to pay from the car screen.
That way you don’t need to deal with pay-at-pump systems, or go and stand in a line. If you live in states with restrictions on who can pump gas, like New Jersey, you may not even have to get out of your car.
Reuters spoke with gas station chain HF Sinclair, which operates 1,600 gas stations in the U.S. and admitted it was excited consumers would be able to purchase Sinclair fuel from their car’s display.
Meanwhile, Donald Friedman from digital fuel payment infrastructure provider P97 Networks, told Reuters that oil companies are interested in making their apps work with CarPlay. He didn’t specify which ones, however.
In other words it’s likely that there are going to be plenty of new app experiences coming to CarPlay in the near future — and likely before the launch of the next generation CarPlay that can take over every display in your car. Now we just need to wait and see what developers come up with.