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Apps have revolutionized the way we do things. From booking hotels to hailing a taxi, to handling money, apps have a seemingly unlimited spectrum of uses and, well, applications. The next step for these programs has already begun: making the leap from smartphones and tablets into the increasingly connected devices we use every day.
In the latest step toward a more app-connected customer experience, for example, Ford is partnering with ExxonMobil to allow customers to pay for gas without leaving the vehicle.
The ExxonMobil Speedpass+ app, part of Ford’s SYNC AppLink in-car system, is connected to the in-car GPS, which recognizes nearby participating ExxonMobil stations. From there, the driver only needs to enter the pump number to authorize the transaction, making the process seamless and simple for consumers.
“ExxonMobil’s use of mobile technology that makes life more convenient for their customers can be easily integrated into Ford vehicles,” said Dave Hatton, Ford global manager, mobile applications and emergency services. “With SYNC AppLink, the Speedpass+ experience becomes a more seamless part of our customers’ journey.”
Beyond saving drivers time in the cold this winter, ExxonMobil Speedpass+ can be operated almost entirely through voice controls. Simply by saying, “pay for fuel,” followed by the number of the selected pump, customers can bypass not only paying at the pump, but also the need to use buttons at all in order to pay for gas.
This step forward is undoubtedly a convenient trick for drivers of Ford vehicles but serves primarily as an example of what’s to come in terms of customer experience for connected vehicles. With the Speedpass+ app integrating directly with GPS to find and engage with fueling locations, there is now a huge number of options in terms of connected experiences that can be created with these in-car apps.
By bringing the connected app experience to vehicles, Ford continues to be at the forefront of technological advances in the space, focusing on improving CX not only while driving, but also while running errands, servicing the car, and now even pumping gas. By turning its cars from a means to an end into a fully connected companion, Ford continues to evolve the way we look at automaker CX.
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