BP Stations Testing Fuel Pumps With Personality


CHICAGO — BP’s new interactive fuel pump — affectionately dubbed “Miles” — made its official debut Tuesday at the BP station on the busy corner of Wells Street and Chicago Avenue in Chicago.

Developed through a partnership with The Onion and Pandora, Miles uses a proprietary, interactive technology to audibly greet customers when they approach the pump, then lets them select music on Pandora, record a video e-card to share on social media, or play music trivia — all in real-time via a touchscreen tablet that guides them through the array of entertainment options.

After pumping gas with Miles, drivers can send themselves a text message with the content they created while at the pump, a link to their chosen Pandora station, plus special offers such as a 25-cent discount on a gallon of BP gas on a future visit.

“The BP Personality Pump is one of the biggest innovations at U.S. retail fueling stations in many years,” said Donna Sanker, chief marketing officer for BP Fuels North America. “We believe this technology could change the way people think about the typical fill-up and give consumers another reason to visit our stations.”

Beginning Tuesday, BP will test the new “Miles” pump technology — the first significant pump innovation since pay-at-the-pump was popularized in the 1980s — for three months, according to Doug Dryan, BP’s consumer advertising manager.

“The pumps will be up through Feb. 14, 2017 — one in Chicago; one in Naperville, Ill.; and two in Brooklyn, N.Y.,” Dryan shared at the Chicago launch.

Marketing initiatives with The Onion and Pandora will help build awareness of the initiative.  

“The Onion will have a hub for Miles on its website, plus there will be ads on Pandora,” Dryan said, noting that BP will measure things including impressions and on-site use to determine whether or not the company will continue with a wider rollout.

Whatever the company decides, Miles is just one example of the ways BP is pursuing a more innovative approach and changing consumers’ expectations at the pump, Dryan said.

“Miles will be just one of many innovations to test and to learn from over the course of 2017,” he concluded.

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