Johannesburg - Taking advantage of falling or rising fuel prices is now easier thanks to a South African company having developed an app that notifies drivers of the best time to fill up at the pump.
Dubbed ‘FillApp’, the Android and Apple iOS mobile application communicates price changes for all fuel types and car sizes.
The app also predicts how much a driver or car owner could save in fuel costs if they fill up on a certain date.
The makers of FillApp, South African digital company TouchFoundry, use several sources to provide their fuel price data on the app.
SA’s Central Energy Fund, for example, determines the fuel price on a weekly to daily basis. And at the end of each month the Department of Energy recalculates the fuel price to include taxes and levies. The new prices are then put into effect every first Wednesday of the month.
To access price predictions on FillApp, users of the app submit basic data about their vehicle’s tank and fuel type, such as if the car has a 40 litre capacity, uses unleaded petrol and whether the driver fills up at the coast or at inland areas.
"We can scan for you reliable sources and we then basically get an algorithm that gives us a prediction of what the fuel (price) will probably be,” the founder of TouchFoundry, Fabio Longano, told Fin24.
"So, before even we get to month's end, we know that it might be going down or it might be going up," he said.
FillApp is currently only available on Android and Apple iOS smart devices. (FillApp)
The application is available on Android and Apple’s iOS stores, but there aren’t immediate plans to bring it to BlackBerry or Windows Phone.
FillApp was built using HTML5 technology which makes it easier to scale to other devices, if needed.
"There is a possibility, if the need arises, to extend to BlackBerry and other devices. But right now it's only on iOS and Android,” Longano told Fin24.
“Right now, if we look at the market share it's all in Android and iOS. That's where the majority of the market is and that's where it's growing towards,” he said.
Listen to Fin24 technology editor Gareth van Zyl interview Fabio Longano about 'FillApp'.
Fuel price decreases
South Africans have experienced relief at the fuel pump in recent months as prices have been falling.
Earlier this month, Fin24 reported that the 95 petrol price fell by R1.23 a litre and the 93 petrol price dropped by R1.27 a litre
Meanwhile, further fuel price drops are expected, according to analysts.
This is as a the global oil price continues to plummet amid an over supply of the commodity.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has also allowed fuel prices to fall while the US has boosted its local energy supplies thanks to a growing fracking industry in that country.