The Amazon Gas Station Experience

Gas and travel are the only trillion dollar markets that Amazon isn’t involved in yet. With their determination to disrupt these industries, it’s only a matter of time before your day looks something like this…

It’s that time of the week again. The gas light dings on and I know it’s only a matter of time before I have to scramble to find a place to fill up.

I remember only a few years ago when there were gas stations on almost every corner, but now that Amazon is in the gasoline business, they’re fewer and further between. Sure, Exxon and Shell are still around, but a lot of others have started closing up shop.

I have packages that are supposed to be delivered today, so I ask Alexa to reroute them to Amazon Gas near my office for pickup on the way home. My house came with the Amazon Key Home Kit when I bought it, but I still don’t like to use it. They’ve hired so many third party fulfillers to keep up with deliveries, you can’t be certain how much the end delivery person has been vetted. Especially since they launched Amazon Delivery Service Partner program where anyone with a few thousand in the bank can deliver for Amazon.

I guess it’s my lucky day!

As I pull into the station I see the price drop for regular from $3.99 to $3.95. As with everything Amazon, the pricing is dynamic taking into consideration current local demand and prices at every station nearby.

I reach for my wallet and grab my Amazon Prime Visa credit card, as card holders save $0.05 per gallon, but struggle to find where to card goes.

Oh yeah, duh…

I notice my gas is already selected and ready to pump. They adapted the same technology states use for tolls to read your license plate connected to your account. It’s cut down on card skimming a lot, but I’ve heard a few stories of people hacking electronic license plates to charge gas to other people’s accounts. Amazon is supposed to be fixing it to also match the plate to the type of car.

While I’m waiting, one of the Prime Original trailers on the screen at the pump catches my attention. “Alexa, add The Man in the High Castle to my watch list.”

The pump stops and a popup appears on the screen. “Dan, it’s been 5,000 miles since you last changed your windshield wipers. Would you like me to order you new ones? I found a coupon for 10% off with delivery available for tomorrow,” Alexa asks. I decline the wipers, but opt into scheduling an oil change through their service marketplace.

I asked one of the tech guys at work how Amazon knows to prompt these things, and apparently since they know your car model they can look up your MPG. Cross referencing that information with the gas purchases you make on your credit car, they can get a good picture into how many miles your car has.

I wonder how they will manage to up-sell these products and maintenance services next year when they bring out they bring out the Amazon Robotics station attendants that fill up the car for you. Apparently, Amazon hasn’t been able to open any Amazon Gas stations in New Jersey and Oregon since they still require gas to be pumped by attendants. But since the law doesn’t specify it has to be a human attendant, Amazon Gas will be in all 50 states by the end of the year.

Here come my packages, time to head home and watch some of The Man in the High Castle.


Originally published at Dan DeSimone.