Lost drivers will soon be able to access Google driving directions, maps, and local listings at gas stations across the United States, the AP reported today. Surprisingly, this won’t be monetized by Google with advertising but it will allow the gas stations to make money by allowing coupons from local merchants (and it looks like the big G’s not taking a cut of that, either):
Greensboro, N.C.-based Gilbarco initially will offer the service at about 3,500 gas pumps and expand based on retailer demand. Unlike most of Google’s services, this one won’t include ads to bring in income. But participating retailers will be able to make extra money from other merchants that offer coupons on the service.
Users can’t yet type in addresses but will be able to browse maps for landmarks on a simple interface (below).
Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land points out that this development is likely one of many possible Google-kiosk iterations to come (there’s potential for this concept in shopping malls, for instance, or in affluent, high-traffic urban areas, like New York’s Union Square). In any case, it’s another entry in Google’s bid to be everywhere. Karen Roter Davis, a principal business development manager for Google, called the gas pump Google maps “a Googley, more stealthy way of getting directions.”