back to article Google petrol pumps debut next month

Google, the company that pits bot against bot in the lucrative eyeball-herding range wars of adland, has extended its reach yet further. Not content with hogging browsers and phones, the search colossus will soon appear on the humble petrol pump. According to AP, new pumps made by Gilbarco Veeder-Root are about to be deployed …


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  1. Rabbi

    Google-rage debuts the day after

    Given how impatient and pushy drivers can be when queueing for the pumps already, imagine what will happen when drivers can stand there and surf!

    I give it a week before we get reports of an impatient motorist shunting another car away from the pump because the driver is standing there trying to work Google Maps after he has filled up and paid.

  2. The Mole


    Considering when I'm filling my car up at the pump I'm stood bored with nothing to look up except the figures on the pump spinning until the tank is full and this takes a couple of minutes I would have thought you have the perfect candidate for some good old context sensitive banner advertising (keyword 'petrol') with an audiance who literally can't run away from it. Filling the car is boring enough that people might actually look at it!

  3. Chad H.
    Thumb Up

    From Joke to useful

    Okay, I thought you were kidding (I mean, we have the letter i iin ifront iof ieverything), I thought this would have been a joke

    But I can actualy see it being useful for those not technical enough to have downloaded Google Maps onto their phone.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brilliant idea

    I love the idea I've waiting 10 minutes for the pillock in front to move off the pump, whislt my ozone killing car is happily sat there pumping out fumes.... but wait then I'll need to add more fuel as I will of wasted loads just sat there....that's how the petrol stations will make the money !

  5. captain kangaroo
    Thumb Down

    What a load of rubbish ;)

    Surely this is a bad idea, disposable maps will just create more paper waste.

    If it transfered the map to your mobile then that'd be a better idea...

  6. Steve

    pump rage

    wouldn't a kiosk in the shop or on the forecourt make more sense, or at least cut down on the amount of pump rage invoked.

    Stu - do what the signs say and switch off your engine whilst queuing.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @Stu Revees

    Instead of punching a bigger hole in the ozone, you could think about switching off your engine while waiting at the pump.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Fuck no

    Queues at pumps are rediculously long already... I cannot for the life of me see this taking off in the UK without major 'pump rage' ensuing...

  9. Stephen Leak


    Isn't this a bit dangerous, what with all the petrol vapour?

  10. Stephen Leak


    I would have used "googly" rather than "Googley".

  11. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Forecourt advertising...

    Forecourt advertising... it's been done before and failed.

    Anybody remember seeing the adverts on the pump nozzles? These days they just advertise the vendor's own products as there isn't enough profit in it to bother changing the adverts regularly.

    Moving on from this - anybody remember the electronic displays on the nozzles? Once all the electrical certification and installation had been taken care of - guess what? Yep, no profit in that either.

    In a similar vein, there was a company dedicated to audio/visual advertising channels in forecourts - great apart from a few problems... punters couldn't hear the content because of the noise of the nearby road / fuel pump itself (solution was to make the thing so damn loud it pissed everybody off). Also, the video screens couldn't be seen because they were cheap non-daylight screens and therefore couldn't be read and due to their environment, they got dirty very, very quickly. Can't see why these failed either...

  12. amanfromMars Silver badge

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  13. Alex

    Is it just me or....

    are there otthers out there turning against the tide of google?

    I predict a backlash, but where will folk run?

    Perhaps back into the arms of Microsoft...

    ...."its touching to see how they love big brother"?

    or will we finally see the rise of open source?

    will their battle cry be "Free Anonymity"???

    ...I doubt it!

    if there is hope, it lies with the paroles!!

  14. Phill

    Black, Oily finger prints all over the screen

    And big smudges where people are zooming in and out.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Engine running

    I leave my engine running. Rather use a few minute's worth of fuel rather than turn the engine off for few a minutes, and then waste all that petrol plus more probably by turning the engine on again to move 10ft, then turn it off again. Turning your engine on uses about a mile's worth of fuel, just like turning a projector on uses 4 hrs of lamp life.

  16. Feargal Reilly
    Thumb Down

    Oil be

    Having done my time scrubbing pumps in the past, I say good luck to whoever it is who have to keep the grease and grime levels low enough to render details visible. Those things get filthy from all the fumes.

  17. DaveE
    Paris Hilton

    US petrol pumps are different?

    Unlike the UK, where you typically have to keep the pump handle held (or 'squeezed') in, most petrol/gas stations I've used in the US allow you to put the pump in the nozzle, squeeze the handle, and it stays pumping until it senses that the tank is full. Most UK station pumps also have this automatic cut off when they sense the tank is full. But, the key is that in the US the user doesn't have to keep holding the handle in place and their petrol/gas is cheaper so they ain't watching the dials spin round either.

    This average 3 minute wait, I guess, is the time google is aiming for people to use their kiosk advertising whatever mumbo jumbo thing instead, and without incurring pump rage (or nearly as much as some other commentators on here fear)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All is right with the world

    I was becoming concerned, as amanfromMars's posts have been almost readable of late. Glad to see a return to true form here.

  19. Brett Brennan

    It's different here in the Colonies...

    Usually there isn't a queue at the petrol pump here in the US. Only at times when the prices are moving around and one station is more than 5 cents cheaper than the others...which usually quickly match the price. So waiting for someone to pull a map or coupon isn't that big a deal.

    This idea is actually in use already at many petrol station in the US, with adverts for stuff from the convenience store at the station being plugged on the LCD or scrolling text display. It works, not so much from the standpoint that it's inherently interesting, but it's cheap (read: free) and even a very small number of incremental sales drives people into the C-store, where the REAL profits are made.

    Besides, it returns us in a post-Internet way to the "good old days" where maps of the local area, state and country were gladly given away by the friendly pump attendants, along with directions and suggestions for restaurants and hotels. (Yes, I AM old enough to remember those days!) But it will probably only work in America, or possibly the Antipodes, where there are petrol stations on nearly every corner, with 8 or more pumps and plenty of parking. (Some of the petrol stations in Mexico or Japan don't even have pumps on the ground, but hoses hanging from the roof and large displays of the pump info on a wall - no Googling from these locations!)

    Finally, the HUGE complexes that provide diesel fuel for lorries here are very much prime candidates for this. Truckers currently have to leave their rig and go into the building for maps, payment, etc. - this keeps them moving on the tarmac and gives them information that they usually need to get via CB radio from other truckers. As well as plugging the services at the station and other local trucking business.

    Nice idea, Google!

  20. Fatty Treats


    Get with the programme kids, the rage now is CLIMATE CHANGE, we don't care about the ozone layer any more.

    Your cars don't deplete the ozone layer, that was CFCs. They are no longer a problem at all (i.e. we've forgotten about them). Your cars give out greenhouse gases, alledgedly leading to global warming or as it's called now CLIMATE CHANGE (see above).

    Of course, it's possible given that we are coming out of a geological period known as "the little ice age" (it's not all that long age the Thames was freezing over in winter to such an extent that an annual fair was held on it) that temperatures may be due to rise *anyway*, and the idea that anything we do significantly affects this world is sheer arrogance on our part.

  21. Andy Worth


    Try "petrol pump porn"......that might work.

  22. Nexox Enigma

    Not the first...

    I've seen a few stations that have added ~17 inch LCD TVs to pumps that runs a continual 5 minute loop of ads. It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't also have audio.

    I avoid those stations now.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Google lav a good idea

    You're sat in a cubicle with constipation and taking your time so as not to get piles - and searching on the little touch screen on the wall above the toilet roll holder!

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Who has time?

    I'm in the US, and I usually clean the windows while the tank fills. As far as queues are concerned, I think I might have had to queue for fuel once, maybe twice.

    I think, for the reasons given by others, this is doomed to fail. What might *not* be doomed would be a kiosk machine inside the petrol station, because the way people ask for directions is to go *inside* to speak with a person. When you get there, you usually find "person" was an overstatement. At best, you'll get directions to Mexico. Accessing electronic maps from inside the shop is more like it. But listen at me! Giving away all my ideas to Poogle!

  25. Luther Blissett

    Daft as a brush

    Got satnav? Got mobile broadband on your laptop (and you Do have your laptop with you)? No, ok get maps on yer phone. Sorted. Except for the hard core of internet-deniers, who would not be seen using it if you gave them a PC and connection gratis.

    Luther has been know to call in at petrol stations for directions. But to display a local map on the pump and not let geographically lost people route themselves is simply insulting.

    BTW I think amanfromMars is asking for JK Rowling stories. Anyone have any good ones? Or bad ones.

  26. Keith Williams
    Thumb Down

    @ the mole - advertising

    In Canada, Esso already does this. I avoid Esso stations whenever possible.

  27. Nano nano

    re-Dump the pumps

    With petrol once again pushing £1/litre, maybe the screens could redirect you to the nearest cheap(er) filling station ...

  28. Henry Wertz

    Not a mile of gas...

    Modern cars are fuel injected. They don't dump in extra gas for a hot restart, and so you are absolutely not burning a mile worth of gas restarting the engine. I have heard the cutoff between idling and restart is only around 30 seconds idling. That said.. I haven't had to wait in fuel lines, but in other lines I tend not to shut my engine off either, unless it's waiting for a train.

  29. Michael

    Whats next?

    I suppose ....high street opticians?

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