AP is reporting that Google will "dispense" driving directions at thousands of petrol stations across the United States beginning early next month.

The new pumps, complete with an internet connection, will display Google's mapping service in colour on a small screen.

Just a limited service at the time of launch - it won't offer full US mapping, but info relevant to the local area.

Drivers will be able to scroll through different categories to find find points of interest such as local landmarks, hotels, restaurants and hospitals.

After the driver has selected a destination, the pump will print out directions.

Eventually, the plan is to set up the system so that motorists can type in any address and get directions.