Long gone are the days when you pulled into the gas station and you were met by a friendly guy who pumped your gas, cleaned your windshield, checked your oil, and even put air in your tires if you asked him to. How many of us are still kicking and remember those good old days? Not too many, you know why? Because we are rapidly becoming an endangered species.
But there is hope! Sten Corfitsen, the founder and chief executive officer of Fuelmatics Systems AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden, and his business partners at a company based in Missouri that manufactures fuel nozzles and related accessories, would like to bring them back—at least the part about pumping gas.
Corfitsen and his business partners have invented a fully automated, robotic refueling unit for cars—an ATM for automobiles, if you will. It's no accident that Corfitsen got his start working for ATM builders in Europe. These operate on the same principal: Drive up to the pump, roll down your window, swipe a card at the screen and the robo-attendant takes it from there.The robo-gas attendant is being tested at the Husky Corporation factory near St. Louis, and Fuelmatics hopes to have the system ready for use by next year.