Alibaba wants to change the way we buy our cars, and has revealed a curious and ambitious project: the creation of a network of vehicle vending machines . With them, the Asian giant of online commerce will allow you to request the test a car sold by one of these buildings, and if you like it then you pay it and you get it.
According to what they have said, their intention is to open the first two stores of this type next January in the cities of and Nanjing. His ultimate goal is that buying a car is as easy as buying a can of soda, and for that he plans to have “dozens” of these stores open throughout China by the end of next 2018.
In this video posted by Alibaba you can see how these vending machines will work. The process starts with a mobile application with which you can scan the car you want to try. After doing it the app will recognize it and will show you on screen all the basic information about the vehicle you have chosen.
If you decide to try it, the application will ask you to take a selfie, and if the vehicle is available in a nearby vending machine will ask you to choose a color and book a test drive. Then you will have to go to the store-vending machine that you are told to proceed to the next step.
When you arrive, in the place where the cars are sold, your face will be scanned, and if it fits with the selfie you have sent, the car will be expended so you can try it for three days. If you spend the time you want to stay, you can buy it directly through the application, where you will also have the option to return it and / or try other models.
The system will limit the car tests to five vehicles per user per month, and if you are a user with a good level in the financial system of the company, the test will be free. But apart from that, Alibaba has not detailed any other details about the costs of this service. In fact, there is not even an official name for this type of store or vending machine yet.
Car vending machines approach
The Alibaba is not the first project to create a type of technology that links the sale of vehicles with the concept of vending machines. Without going any further, in May our partners from Motorpasión told us about a vertical show-room with which the company Autobahn Motors exhibited luxury cars in Singapore. It was a 15-storey building with 60 exposed cars that closely resembled a vending machine.
However, the project of the Chinese company is noticeably different, because its objective is not so much to expose the cars as to allow you to actually buy them with a similar system. It is also a project that will not stay in a city, but have the intention to expand it to other cities in the country.
It will therefore be necessary to see how the experiment goes to the company. Because to get it right it would not be surprising that other brands start to see this concept with good eyes and prepare similar services. Can we buy our next car in one of these machines? We will wait to see how the idea evolves.