With the rapid decarbonization of the energy industry and the new era of installed base competition, many refined oil product retailers are introducing various new technologies and devices to upgrade entire gas station systems. This is done in order to accelerate the mutual promotion of oil and non-oil product sales, increase single-station revenue, improve gas station efficiency, and reduce operation costs.
Traditional gas stations still have a long way to go before they become fully digitalized and intelligent.
If digital transformation were a building, the foundation of that building would be smart and efficient security protection.
Generally, the scale of gas stations is limited. Complex services, including oil product transportation, storage, sales, and equipment and facility management, all need to be performed within a limited area. The emergence of energy stations that integrate oil, hydrogen, and electricity services further increases the complexity of oil station management. Sanitation environments, employee behavior, and the status of devices such as liquid level meters and oil and gas detectors, all require manual checks and handling, which poses a great challenge to gas station managers.
For critical indicators such as station entry rate, refueling rate, and repeat customer rate, some gas stations even appoint dedicated personnel to physically count passing vehicles, which is both inefficient and inaccurate. This manually collected data cannot guide business decision-making.
Gas stations that serve a large number of people and vehicles are more likely to face unexpected emergencies, including refueling without shutting off the engine, and people smoking and making phone calls.
What's more, potential security risks are difficult to detect. Take the unloading of oil as an example. The concentration of oil and gas in the air cannot be directly and effectively observed, and static electricity is easily accumulated when oil flows quickly, posing a serious safety risk.
Traditional gas stations currently rely on manual risk investigation, identification and prevention, making O&M difficult. Digitalization provides the opportunity for the secure and smart management of gas stations.
Huawei's smart gas station solution uses the latest ICTs to integrate and model isolated service subsystems, such fuel dispensers, liquid level meters, payment platforms, work orders, large screens, and video monitoring, to form a comprehensive analysis and display platform. With the support of powerful computing power, the security AI identification accuracy of gas stations exceeds 98%, with considerably fewer false positives and false negatives. The process is fully visible, risks are fully identified, and operation records are fully traceable. Reliable data is used to support service management and decision-making, helping gas stations go digital and achieve the intelligent warning of security risks.
Intelligent video analyses replace manual inspections, implementing around-the-clock online monitoring of oil tank inventory, fuel dispenser statuses, oil and gas concentrations, and gas leakages. Prohibited actions such as smoking and making phone calls on site are detected and warnings are issued. Related data can be monitored and recorded, eliminating any possible risks.
In terms of safe oil unloading, based on AI and data analysis capabilities, the solution implements intelligent monitoring and warning throughout the eight phases of vehicle introduction, security check, security protection, pre-unloading confirmation, oil unloading, unloading monitoring, oil acceptance, and post-unloading processing. Once a security risk occurs, the intelligent system reports the risk in time. The gas station manager receives a notification on their mobile phone, ensuring secure and manageable gas stations.
Intelligent and efficient security management lays the foundation for smart gas stations, but an ecosystem is also required for gas stations to go fully digital.
Many gas station operators are receiving customer complaints on a daily basis: "Gas stations are too congested"; "It takes two minutes to refuel but half an hour to queue"; "Gas station staff are not professional or polite enough"; "You have to re-visit the gas station to collect the invoice, which is an utter waste of time".
It seems that consumers are becoming more and more picky, why?
Nowadays, consumers pay just as much attention to the consumption experience as the products they purchase. User-friendly and personalized consumption experience is a must. When a driver enters a gas station, the refueling speed, oil quality, payment experience, and the service of the gas station staff all play a vital role in satisfying customers and making them come again.
The refined oil product market is shifting from price-centric to user experience-centric.
In response to this change, Huawei's smart gas station solution provides intelligent service functions. Through AI-based digital onsite services, the solution proactively guides vehicles, intelligently identifies oil product types, automatically deducts fees, and proactively presents invoices, allowing consumers to refuel without getting out of their vehicles. The average refueling time is shortened from 6 minutes to 2 minutes, optimizing the refueling experience while also boosting gas station operation efficiency.
In addition to service upgrades, Huawei's smart gas station solution can help gas stations expand promotion and advertising by pushing oil price information and product promotion activities, such as gas station membership, enhancing user loyalty. Smart marketing helps gas stations grow both their refueling business and retail business.
As traditional gas stations embark on the road to a digital future, Huawei is committed to helping them build a 'people-vehicle-life' ecosystem, in order to increase the sales of refined oil products and deliver optimized services to customers.
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