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This video (though cheesy) is a demonstration of Fuelmatics’s gas station automation technology. Fuelmatics is a Swedish company looking to revolutionize the way we fill up. Beyond the obvious convenience factor, they promise an efficient, simple process which they claim is the most environmentally sound because there is no leakage or escaping vapor.

Missouri-based Husky Corporation has partnered with Fuelmatics to build the automated system.

Transition

As with most advances, the cost to migrate to the new technology will determine how long it takes to become commonly available. If gas stations replace their existing pumps with these new systems, those costs may be passed on to consumers in the short term through convenience charges. I expect automated pumps to soon become part of the process when building new stations.

Automated refueling is an important piece of the automated vehicle puzzle. If there are going to be cars and trucks operating without human drivers, there needs to be a method for refueling that does not require a human to pump the gas. There is going to be a chicken-or-the-egg dynamic to automating the vehicle industry because there will need to be a proper support system in place before it can work as imagined.

Outlook

What can be automated, will be automated. Any task that does not absolutely require a human being will done automatically. To some, it will seem lazy or unnecessary but this technology is going to become common. Human error is a real factor when it comes to safety and efficiency. Automated systems, such as Fuelmatics has demonstrated, would go a long way towards eliminating those problems.