Soon enough we will all be driven around by algorithms in cute little future-mobiles that run on electricity and compressed hydrogen. But in the meantime, the majority of us must endure the doldrums of driving, the archaic mundanity of things like traffic and road rage and gas stations.
Except maybe not that last one!
In the great tradition of Silicon Valley startups hoping to solve a minor problem that most people never even realized they had, a new Los Angeles company called Purple offers to come and fill up your tank on demand.
Per The Los Angeles Times today:
With Los Angeles-based Purple, which expanded into San Diego last month, customers can use the company's iPhone or Android app when they're short on fuel. A Purple "courier," clad in a purple T-shirt, will come to your location in one to three hours, find your car and add 10 or 15 gallons of gas (using portable gas cans) to your tank.
Purple's customers are billed the going rate for gas. Eventually it will also charge a delivery fee. Its millions in seed funding include an investment from Uber co-founder Oscar Salazar.
"Most of us don't like to go to the gas station," Purple co-founder Bruno Uzzan told the Times. "Our customers are saying they are losing time. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to fuel a car, and they wish they could spend the time on something else."
It's true that some Silicon Valley startups have succeeded in taking over some of life's most mundane tasks. Instacart, for one, has ballooned into a $2 billion company by picking up our groceries.
But while Instacart solved a problem that potentially takes hours away from your day—and saves you from being jostled by the overly aggressive shoppers at your local Whole Foods—Purple's proposition gives you 10 minutes of your life back. Startups that seek to quell the minor headaches of tech bros and other similarly-situated urban dwellers have not typically been as fortunate.