You read that headline correctly, friends. Just as we came to believe that the year two-thousand and sixteen couldn’t become any stranger, BP saw a meatball and smacked it straight out of the park. They’re introducing Miles, an interactive gas pump, as part of a three-month pilot program intent on making the gas pumping experience fun.
At this point, you may be thinking this sounds like an article from The Onion. Amazingly enough, The Onion is actually involved! At the very least, there’s a hint of self-awareness in the enterprise. At the participating gas stations, gas pumps will be possessed by a digital entity named Miles, along with some pretty massive green digital signage. Onion Labs will be writing the voice lines for Miles, so at least we’ll know what to expect. In addition to their brand of humor, people at the gas pump will be able to play music through speakers using Pandora (brace yourselves, fellow gas pumpers), play music trivia games, send out e-cards to commemorate the event, and trade banter with Miles. Unfortunately, Miles isn’t on Cortana’s level, so the banter trading will be limited to what Miles can actually do, which isn’t much — look, you can’t expect the world from a smart gas pump.
Miles can do one really useful thing, though. After you leave the gas station, you can sign up for a text message that can get you $0.25/gallon off your next BP fill-up. If you’re in Chicago or New York City, Miles will be operational at BP locations at the following locations:
750 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL, 60610 and 901 N. Washington St., Naperville, IL 60563
164 4th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217 and 802 65th St., Brooklyn, NY 11220
He’ll be around until February 14, 2017, after which either the love story will continue or Miles will break our hearts and leave for good. Oh, and if you (understandably) think this is fake, the brave people at the Chicago Tribune did some field reporting and made a video, so either this story is real or the hoax goes deeper than we could have imagined.