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Chevy will soon let you pay for gas from inside your car

·Technology Editor
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Refueling your Chevy car or truck is about to get a little easier with the launch of Chevy’s new in-dash payment system. The service, which is being beta tested in Detroit, Seattle and Houston, is part of General Motors’ (GM) Marketplace commerce platform and will allow drivers to pay for their gas from inside their vehicles via their infotainment systems.

The in-dash service will only be available at participating Shell (RDS-A, RDS-B) stations in the near term, but will reach all stations by the end of the year. Chevy says it’s also working with ExxonMobil to bring the service to that company’s gas stations, though no timeline has been announced.

To make in-car payments you’ll have to download and open the Shell app, which will then send your location (without any privately identifiable information) to Shell so it knows which station you’re at.

You then tap “Pay and Save” on your vehicle’s display. After choosing the payment method you want to use, you’ll receive a three-digit code for the pump at which you’ll refuel. Go to the pump, enter the code and you can start refueling. The feature even lets you use your Shell Fuel Rewards program.

The Chevy in-dash payment service in action.
The Chevy in-dash payment service in action.

Chevy says that the in-car payment service will use your vehicle’s built-in 4G LTE connection but won’t require you to sign up for any actual data plans, which is a plus.

The Marketplace in-vehicle app is available on all eligible 2017 and newer Chevy, Cadillac and GMC cars and trucks, and will reach about 4 million vehicles by the end of 2018.

Of course, as convenient as not having to walk into the gas station or pull out your credit card to pay for gas is, you still need to step out of your car to use the actual pump, so it’s not like you’re going to be able to stay in your vehicle the entire time. Unless you’re in New Jersey, that is.

What’s the big benefit? Well, you’ll be able to avoid credit card skimmers that can steal your card information at the pump, and even if you don’t have your card on you, you’ll still be able to pay for gas.

The main reason for the service, though, seems to be that it’s pretty darn cool. In order for it to take off, however, it’s going to need to be faster than just walking over to the pump and swiping or tapping your credit card. If it’s slower, don’t expect many people to use the in-car payment option.

Now if they could just find a way to automate changing my car’s oil, I’ll be set.

More from Dan:

Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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