Reinventing a Gas Station as a Hub for Multi-Modal Mobility
What can be done to convert the traditional grimy, unpleasant petrol stations of today to something more in line with a future of alternatives to fossil fuels? Eni, a major multinational energy company based in Italy, recognizes that these relics of an earlier age will become obsolete, but for now drivers still need refuel their vehicles. So, the company asked the Mobile Experience Lab to consider incremental changes that could begin now, employing new technologies and offering new services and experiences to drivers. After 2000 kilometers of ethnographic observations in gas stations, we began by reimagining the fuel station of tomorrow. We studied how people behave today at Eni petrol stations in Italy and considered the benefits users could derive sooner rather than later. The result: a sustainable gas station that offers a clean, comfortable, easy experience. It begins with a smart robotic pumping system that recognizes the car, delivers the right fuel, and is integrated with a quick, seamless digital payment system. There is the potential for a highly sophisticated loyalty/reward program for customers. The station itself is self-sufficient, generating the energy it needs to operate from the motion of vehicles that enter and exit, as well as by collecting rainwater and via solar panels. The entire station of tomorrow is a thing in the Internet of Things.