Apple CarPlay to Let Drivers Pay at the Pump from Dashboards

Apple is working on a new CarPlay feature that will direct users to the nearest gas station and let them pay to fill their tank up directly from their car’s dashboard — reports Reuters.

The feature is expected to roll out as part of the major CarPlay update Apple announced at WWDC 2022 earlier this month. At the time, Apple said vehicles equipped with the next generation of CarPlay “will start to be announced late next year.”

However, Reuters is reporting that the CarPlay update could show up in vehicles as early as this fall with the new fuel purchase feature in tow. Apple apparently demoed the planned feature to developers at WWDC.

The news comes from Dallas-based HF Sinclair, which supplies gasoline to 1,600 stations across the U.S.

“We are excited by the idea that consumers could navigate to a Sinclair station and purchase fuel from their vehicle navigation screen,” said Jack Barger, senior vice president of marketing at the company.

Sinclair plans to use the new CarPlay technology once it’s out and will announce details in the coming months.

The new CarPlay feature will require iPhone users to download a fuel company’s app and set it up with their payment credentials. Once that’s done, users will be able to activate pumps at stations and pay for gas from their car’s navigation screen.

Fuel purchasing will start rolling out to CarPlay-enabled models when Apple starts releasing software updates later this fall. Essentially, it’s integrating what’s already possible through gas station apps on the iPhone, but into the car.

The new feature will help expand CarPlay’s arsenal, which Apple has been working on for a while. Next-gen CarPlay brings deeper hardware integration with vehicles, allowing Apple to do a lot more than ever before.

Analysts believe the upcoming CarPlay update is a precursor to the Apple Car. However, it looks like Apple wants to corner the automotive software market and establish a foothold in the space well before its own car even comes out.