Tracking gas mileage per station
Original Publication Date: 2001-Sep-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
This invention can be enabled in multiple ways. GPS units, smart cards and blue tooth technology will be generally available for the consumer at reasonable price levels in the near future. This invention need not have all three technologies to be enabled but the presence of these technologies relieves the consumer from having to do anything manual. A GPS unit in a car will allow the osition of the car to be determined, from which it is easy to determine at which gas station the car is. This information can easily be entered in other ways, i.e., manually, or in future times perhaps received via blue tooth signals from a gasoline pump or a store. When purchasing gasoline, the pump could provide detailed information to the car, i.e., the purchase price, grade of the gasoline and cost of the gasoline. Since the pump is an electronic device, it can relay this information to the consumer in multiple ways. One choice would be using blue tooth technology, or if the customer is paying with a credit/smart card, all of the information could be stored on the card. Regardless of the implementation, this invention allows the consumer to compare how many miles per gallon a grade 87 at an Amoco station provides and compare that to a grade 87 at a Citgo station. Sharing of information could be done via blue tooth as well, i.e., two cars go to a pump and exchange gas mileage information. Furthermore, if a GPS device is present it could help a consumer understand what type of miles were driven. After all, city miles have different mileage than highway miles. Without GPS, an onboard computer could also keep track of such things as how many starts and stops occurred, how many times and overall length of time a car sat idling, air conditioner use, etc. The point being that an onboard computer in a car could easily keep track of statistics that affect gas mileage. Also, many onboard computers already track information such as miles per gallon and how much gas is in a car's tank. When a signal is sent from a pump, the amount of gasoline the pump claims to have put in the tank and the actual amount of gas that was put in the tank could be compared, and the user could be informed if there is a discrepancy.