Alibaba And Ford Opens Car Vending Machine in China

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Alibaba and Ford's cat-themed car vending machine
(Credit: Alibaba)
Alibaba and Ford's cat-themed car vending machine
(Credit: Alibaba)

This unstaffed, digital “car vending machine” by Alibaba and Ford is the latest from the partnership signed two years ago.

Located in Guangzhou, China, the Super Test-Drive center is open to use by the public with good credit scores. It stands 5 storeys tall and houses 42 Ford cars of different models including the Ford Explorer SUV and Mustang.

So how does it work?

“Sign up is completely mobile on the Tmall or Taobao mobile APP,” said Gu Wanguo, general manager of vehicles at Tmall Auto.

Users can select the car that they want and would put down a deposit electronically. They would also have to schedule a pickup time and would need take a selfie to ensure they are only person who can take the car. This will allow the machine to recognize them when they pick up the car.

Users can test-drive the vehicles for three days and is free as long as the users have the credit score of 700 or above.

The Super Test-Drive center is open to the public from Monday to April 23. They are also planning to put similar machines in Beijing and Hangzhou.

Although the idea is very cool, this is not the first ever car vending machine. Carvana opened a similar 5-storey building in Nashville Tennessee back in 2015.