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Google and Gas

Google directions will soon be available at the gas pumps, it was announced Nov. 8 by a maker of gas pumps here, called Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

         The company said its new pumps will let drivers access Google-based directions that may be printed out at the pump to local hotels, restaurants, and hospitals.  The pumps will also display a map of the local area. 

         News agencies added that eventually, drivers will be able to print out directions to a specific address from the gas pump. The service will be offered at 3,500 gas stations initially.

         Is this cause for alarm for makers of personal navigation devices (PNDs)?  At least one analyst said not to write off the PND market yet.

          “It’s a clever idea, but honestly, I’m not so sure how much it will get used.  If you are lost, will there be a big sign out in front of the gas station saying ‘we have Google maps,’ or how would find the station with that service?” asked ABI research director for telematics Michael Ippoliti.

Garmin had no comment on the announcement.