Helping Disabled Drivers Find And Get Assistance Refuelling Their Cars.
For decades drivers with a disability, especially those who use a wheelchair, would struggle to fill up their vehicle at their local petrol station. In the past, if a wheelchair user was unable to attract the attention of the forecourt staff from inside their vehicle they would have to get out and refuel themselves.
For many wheelchair users this is far from easy, and means they have to assemble their wheelchair (assuming there is space next to their vehicle to do so) and then, after transitioning into the wheelchair, the disabled person has to fill their vehicle with fuel, make their way across the forecourt to the shop to pay before getting back into their vehicle, dismantling the wheelchair, putting it back into the car before finally being able to drive away.
The fuelService app allows drivers with a disability to ask participating petrol stations for help fuelling their vehicle before they set off, so they know that someone from the garage will be on hand to assist them when they pull up at the pump. Once they’ve arrived, the app lets the driver notify the fuel station employees that they are there and waiting for them.
The app also helps drivers get directions to their nearest participating fuel station and allows customers to provide feedback to the garage about their experience.
Disabled drivers with a smartphone can download the fuelService app, which is available for iPhone, Android and Windows devices. To make life even easier, by also using a service like Fill Up & Go - a payment app that can be used at participating Shell fuel stations - when it comes to paying drivers don't need to use cash.
Step 1. Pick A Service Station
Step 2. Ask For Assistance
Step 3. Drive To The Fuel Station
Fuel stations that are already working with fuelService include Shell, the Motor Fuel Group (MFG) and Sainsbury’s filling stations.
Drivers without a smartphone can find all the information they require on the fuelService website and then use the telephone service instead.
FuelService was created by a frustrated disabled driver, Niall El-Assaad, who wanted to find a more efficient and effective way to refuel his car.
“When I first developed the app, I contacted quite a few fuel stations and they didn’t even realise this was a problem,” says El-Assaad. “I believe the app gives disabled drivers confidence and independence when driving. It was a situation that was crying out for a simple yet effective tech solution that could be used by disabled drivers worldwide, so I am delighted and proud at how well the app has been received so far”.
Filling stations pay annually to be included on the app, with the money raised going to local charities and spinal research charities to help find a cure for paralysis.