Published: Wed, March 28, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Alibaba Robotic auto vending machine is 5 stories tall

Alibaba Robotic auto vending machine is 5 stories tall

Customers also have the option to test other cars after that.

The vehicle maker and e-commerce company recently signed a partnership, which allows Ford to sell and offer test drives through the retailer. They plan to leverage artificial intelligence, cloud computing, the Internet of Things and e-commerce to "redefine the consumer journey and user experience for automobiles", the companies stated.

According to South China Morning Post, Tmall users with good credit scores can purchase a Ford vehicle or SUV from the machine, without any human assistance, in less than 10 minutes.

Once you arrive at the vending machine it will use a camera and match your face with the selfie that you've uploaded.

If after that period you like it (and your credit score is high enough) you'll be allowed to buy the auto using one of Alibaba's approved financing programs. But before taking their vehicle for a spin, users must pay the "necessary" fees, arrange a collection date and share a selfie through the Tmall app.

Test-drives cost RMB 99 (USD 16) or RMB 198, depending on the model. The test drives are free, as long as customers have a very respectable social credit score of 700 or above.

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"The auto vending machine is an important step in Alibaba's New Retail push". By making it fun.

Buying a vehicle is an expensive decision.

When they are at the Center, customers simply verify their identity with their selfie and the vehicle they selected is delivered from the multi-story auto dispensary to the ground floor where the test drive begins.

Ford's Stoneley echoed those sentiments, saying the online-to-offline initiative with Tmall was a targeted strategy to drive foot traffic to the company's showrooms in China.

It is noteworthy that the Tmall auto platform, relying on Alibaba's digital technologies and big data advantage, will assess consumers' potential purchasing power judging from their points of Zhima Credit and the rating of Taoqizhi so as to gather potential buyers with the intention of purchasing Ford-branded vehicles. Last year, Autobahn Motors opened a 15 story auto vending machine.

In 2016, Alibaba sold 100 Maserati cars in 18 seconds during a flash sale on Tmall.

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