Cashless payments have rolled out on phones and smartwatches, but up until now they hadn't made it into cars. That's set to change, thanks to a collaboration between Jaguar and Shell that allows drivers to pay for their fuel using the touchscreen in their car.
Instead of getting your hands dirty at the in-pump card reader or waiting behind hordes of people in the cashier queue, owners with the Shell app installed in their central InControl touchscreen can use the app to pay. It links up with PayPal or Apple Pay, with plans to add Android Pay later this year.
The process is fairly simple – having opened the app on the touchscreen, you enter a five-digit security code and pick a pump. All things being equal, the car uses navigation data to work out which Shell station you're at, making sure you don't end up paying for gas somewhere down the road. Once you've done all that, a receipt is displayed on the dash to confirm your payment has worked. That information can also be automatically forwarded on to your email address, making it easier to track expenses or keep receipts on work trips.
"Making a payment from a car's touchscreen will make refuelling quicker and easier," says Peter Virk, Director of Connected Car and Future Technology at Jaguar. "With this new system you can choose any pump on the forecourt and pay for the fuel even if you've forgotten your wallet or can't find your credit or debit card. You will save time because there's no more queueing to pay in a shop, and for drivers with children, it won't be necessary to wake them up, or unstrap them from their seats to take them into the shop."
The app is being rolled out as a wider update to the XE, XF and F-Pace ranges. The F-Pace will now be available with a new E-Performance Diesel, which uses just 4.8 l/100 km (59 mpg) on the combined cycle and emits 125 g/km of CO2. It will be joined by a 237 hp (177 kW) diesel and a 248 hp (185 kW) turbocharged petrol four-cylinder. The same engines will also be on offer in the XF, while the XE S has been boosted from 335 hp (250 kW) to 375 hp (280 kW) for 2018.
The app will be able to download from February 15, but it will only be available to buyers in the UK initially. Android Pay and global support are expected to roll out later this year.
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