Apple CarPlay is getting an innovative new feature in the not-too-distant future: it will give drivers the ability to pay for fuel directly from the car’s infotainment screen, making the process more convenient and straightforward than ever before.
While the update was mentioned by Apple at WWDC 2022, we now have a few more details. Reuters (opens in new tab) reports that HF Sinclair, which sells its fuel at 1,600 stations across the US, plans to support CarPlay purchases later this year.
There are a few caveats: at this time, we haven’t heard anything about support for the feature outside of the US, and it won’t be released until iOS 16 is released to the public. This should happen in September, when we will also have the launch of the iPhone 14.
more to come
“We are excited about the idea that consumers can navigate to a Sinclair station and purchase fuel from the vehicle’s navigation screen,” said Jack Barger, senior vice president of marketing for HF Sinclair. Reuters (opens in new tab).
To take advantage of this, you will have to sign up for an account on the HF Sinclair app and register your payment details in advance. Once all this is done, you will be able to pay for your gas directly from the driver’s seat.
With more and more engines now supporting CarPlay, other companies are likely to follow HF Sinclair’s lead in offering this type of frictionless payment solution, so expect to hear more announcements like this between now and September.
Review: software for your car
If you haven’t used Apple CarPlay before, it’s not installed in your car – it runs on your iPhone, which is why the iOS 16 update is important. If a vehicle’s infotainment system is compatible, the iPhone can put the CarPlay interface on the screen.
Litter Prometheus (opens in new tab) that iOS 16 will usher in the “next generation” of CarPlay, although details are a little thin, and some vehicle partnerships won’t be announced until 2023 – so there could be delays along the way.
Deeper communication with a car’s internal systems (including the gauge cluster), plus more features specific to each car model, is in the works. Apple is also saying that “new levels of personalization” will also be released in the future.
Meanwhile, Android Auto – Google’s equivalent – isn’t down either. Recent improvements released with Android updates include the ability to play games (when the car is stopped) and UI improvements.