Unless you live in New Jersey, the one state in the union in which it’s illegal to pump your own gas, you know your routine at the pump pretty well.
Upon pulling into the station, you could probably pull off the whole thing with your eyes closed; card in, card out, gas tank open, fuel chosen, a few minutes of foot-tapping meditation while the tank fills, a brief cringe at the unavoidably high number on the receipt, and you're out of there. An enormous part of this routine depends on pay-at-the-pump automation: something we can all be thankful for when waiting in that excruciatingly long line at the station.
Automation when fuel is involved also has an added benefit - it's more than convenience, it's about safety. A leak in a dispenser shouldn't happen, but if it did, it would have major consequences for everyone impatiently waiting in that line.
A major gasoline-pump dispenser engineering and distribution company relies on Echelon's inter-communicative device networking technology for safety monitoring, control, and cloud connection monitoring and control of gasoline dispensers. The technology works in both standard fuel distribution services and in flex fuel pumps dispensers, allowing for dispensation of renewable energy, too. The system has to integrate together a number of potentially "smart" technologies - security is required on the financial end, to handle PIN entries and credit card information user interfaces; anti-tampering device locks and alarms are built into the dispensers as well. Then there's gas flow control, so the entire volume of the pump doesn't go spewing out all at once, and the crucial cost-saving point for vendors: perfect metering accuracy.
"Automation when fuel is involved also has an added benefit - it’s more than convenience, it’s about safety. A leak in a dispenser shouldn’t happen, but if it did, it would have major consequences."
On top of that, gas station owners can connect to the whole system via web interface, giving them control over their operations at a micro-level should they want it.
In the world of systems engineering, the integration of all these technologies is a real accomplishment. Echelon's technology operates within that wider network of smart tech, helping to bring them together into intelligent communication with one another and to put the vendor in control of the product.
This is a classic case example of what defines the Industrial Internet of Things. Already-engineered technology stands a chance thanks to the possibility of merely updating gas pumps. What stands out about industrial applications of the IoT is their ability to subtly integrate past engineering with the tools people need for the future.