RAC Cars News


Bentley trials refuelling app

By raccars Published


Bentley drivers may never have to look for a petrol station again thanks to app-based service.

Bentley is trying out a new refuelling app service which means that owners might never need to seek out a petrol station again.

The prestige car manufacturer has teamed up with an American start-up company, Filld, and is trialling the idea amongst owners in California. All the drivers have to do is open their app, pick their delivery time and wait for their fuel to be delivered wherever they need it to be. The app allows the car to securely and automatically share its specific location.

Bentley offers the luxury of more time

Christophe Georges, head of products and marketing at Bentley, said that the service fulfils a key requirement that ownership of one of their vehicles is about the complete luxury experience and not just the car itself. Georges said that the company was continuously investigating methods by which customers can be offered smart, convenient and tailored services that can offer them one of the most important luxuries; more time.

The new app-based refuelling service is part of a Bentley initiative as it continues with its connected car strategy. Other items of connected car technology which feature in its vehicles include the Apple Watch app. This can be used to change the position of the Bentayga SUV’s seats, in addition to monitoring information in real time including the speed at which the car is being driven.

Georges added that the Bentley connected car strategy would continue to innovate and expand in its efforts to enhance the lifestyle luxuries offered by the company. There is speculation that predictive refuelling is also on the cards in the future, meaning that the app will automatically send out a refueller when the car is running low on fuel.

Christopher Aubuchon, the CTO and co-founder of Filld, said that the two companies share a vision that will see the maximum benefits being derived from connected car technology. He said this vision includes a future where drivers do not need to refuel their vehicles. Instead, they can save on time and enjoy more convenience by having their fuel delivered directly to their car. Bentley has not yet revealed when, or even if, the service will be extended to take in other Bentley drivers around the world.

Taking on the service stations

Filld hit the headlines last year after raising $3.25 million to expand its efforts within the on-demand fuel delivery business. The original idea came from the wife of Scott Hempy, a co-founder of the company, during a discussion about the mid-air refuelling of the Air Force One plane.

The original pilot was launched in the Silicon Valley area with plans to expand in the wider area of San Francisco Bay and then beyond. Filld uses pumps similar to those found in service stations, meaning that it can work on the instruction to fill the tank and will stop when the tank is up to capacity. This sets the start-up apart from some of its competition in the field, which can only offer fuel deliveries of pre-specified amounts.

Aubuchon says that initial users of the app have liked the fact that they can have their cars refuelled while they sleep, waking up in the morning with a full tank. Prices are determined according to average fuel prices in the area, together with a service fee charge.

Aside from Bentley owners, Aubuchon says that owners of family vehicles such as SUVs and minivans have made up most of the initial users of the service, although this may be attributable to the demographics in the pilot area.

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