BP is testing new pump technology in the US which includes a tablet that enables customers to interact with an artificial intelligence personality called ’Miles’. It is being trialled at several forecourts in Chicago and New York, initially for three months.

BP says it has installed proprietary voice-activation technology in new "personality pumps," which offer customers a variety of activities at the pump such as playing music through an internet radio service, a music trivia quiz or producing a video e-card they can send to a friend.

Doug Dryan, BP’s consumer advertising manager, explained: "Retail gasoline isn’t the most personable experience. The majority of the transactions that happen at a BP site there is no personal experience.

"The consumer is buying and dispensing their fuel at the pump. You never actually to talk anyone. It’s one of the hard parts about our industry. The entire industry has gone to an ease of buying or ease of payment, because consumers do want to get in and out quickly."