Algorithms at Couche-Tard | The Journal of Montreal

An artificial intelligence tool developed in part in Quebec will soon determine how much you will pay for your liter of gasoline.

In recent months, Alimentation Couche-Tard has deployed this innovation in more than 500 service stations in the United States. The Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO) in Montreal, a government-funded non-profit organization, was involved in the development of the technology.

“Historically, we established the price of gasoline by relying mainly on that of the competitor at the end of the street, relates to the Journal Couche-Tard CEO Brian Hannasch. It didn’t take into account things like: is it raining? Is it a day off? Are there road works? We make mistakes, we do things that are not in our best interests and that may not be in the best interests of our clients either. “

Artificial intelligence “allows us to take into account a large amount of data that would be very difficult for humans to digest,” he says.

Couche-Tard plans to test the technology in Canada in the coming months. Who knows, IVADO’s powerful algorithms could help the company fare well as gasoline sales still lag, pandemic forcing.

$ 2.50 bonus

Mr. Hannasch does not yet know whether he will reinstate the $ 2.50 hourly bonus the company paid its employees in the spring in the event of a second wave.

“If it’s the right thing to do, we’ll do it,” he said simply.

Although Couche-Tard recently bit the dust in two acquisition projects, in Australia and the US, the company continues to explore opportunities in those two countries as well as in Asia and Europe.

Couche-Tard Chairman of the Board, Alain Bouchard, is delighted with the recent entry of the Quebec retailer into the select club of the 200 largest global companies, established by the magazine Forbes.

“We never set that goal,” he says. But now, let’s try to reach the first 100! “

The multiple voting shares that give control of Couche-Tard to its four founders will expire next year. Despite everything, Mr. Bouchard is optimistic that the head office will remain in Quebec.

“I hope our families will agree to maintain” the 23% stake they currently hold in the company’s share capital, said the 71-year-old.

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