Motorists will be forced to pay more for petrol on bank holidays and while doing the school run, under a secret pricing revolution being drawn up by supermarkets.
Artificial intelligence capable of charging drivers extra at busy times has arrived in the UK for the first time, and is expected to result in the biggest shake-up of fuel prices in nearly half a century.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal that major British supermarkets are in late-stage talks with Denmark-based a2i Systems, the firm which sells the computer algorithm, and could install it within months.
Drivers could see petrol prices move several times over the course of a day, with the cost rising or falling by up to 2p a litre, or around £1 per tank.
The technology is already being used at thousands of companies across the US and Europe, where it is common for fuel prices to move between four and ten times a day.
It uses an algorithm, which is modeled on the human brain, to scour huge databases of customer information to predict how consumers and competitors will behave.