Matthew Dunn, 06 April 2016

AUSTRALIAN motorists are set to save hundreds of dollars per year at the petrol bowser with consumers having access to real-time fuel price data next month.

The move comes after the competition watchdog brokered a deal with established retail petrol price monitoring service Informed Sources and five major petrol retailers.

Stemming from a Federal Court action launched in 2014, the ACCC agreement stipulated Informed Sources was required to make pricing data from BP Australia, Woolworths, Caltex Australia and 7-Eleven available to motorists.

With May 20 marked as the date when retailers will no longer have exclusive access to information about petrol prices, a number of app developers, insurance companies and government departments are devising ways to make the most of the freely available data.

According to Informed Sources managing director Alan Cadd, at least 30 developers were working to create smartphone apps to allow motorists to find the cheapest petrol by location in Australia.

Although, Mr Cadd was quick to point out there will likely be some teething problems with the initial crop of smartphone apps developed.

“I think there are a lot of app developers hoping petrol prices will make them a fortune like Mark Zuckerburg,” he told news.com.au.

Despite these initial concerns, Mr Cadd said he remains confident that the end result will be positive for Aussie motorists.

“The data will come from two thirds of all petrol stations with prices being updated every 15 minutes,” he said.

“I believe a second tier of apps will allow for some clever innovation, which will provide savings for consumers.”

Mr Cadd predicts there will 15 — 20 per cent of Aussie drivers who will be using these apps to try and save money on fuel.

“It’s for the families struggling to make ends meet and having to decide whether to feed the kids or put petrol in the car,” he said.

“While saving a cent here or there is not a big deal, if these families can save 20 cents per litre, it will add up.”

The news comes as Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor called for authorities to provide access to “open data” to power apps.

“The possibilities are endless,” he said.

“If we provide easier access to data, for example, on real time traffic flows, car parking spaces, comparative petrol prices, then some of the biggest transport challenges in our cities become a matter of public domain.

“The Federal Government is keen to provide greater access to open data to allow business and the public to help solve problems facing our cities.”

Extracted in full from News.com.au.

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