Just a few days ago, the ecommerce giant Alibaba announced a partnership with Ford in order to sell electric vehicles in China. Not futuristic enough for you?
Car vending machines.
The Tmall division wants to make buying cars as easy as buying a can of Coke. In fact, it’s not, and it involves a pretty lengthy process.
If you see a car you like, you can scan it with the Taobao app. The app then asks you for basic information and a selfie for authentication, then arranges a test-drive for you at the unmmaned vending machine facility.
After that, you simply have to go to the “car vending machine”, show your face and collect your car. A test-drive will last for three days. If the customer’s not happy, he can test another car. If he is, he can simply purchase that car via Taobao.
How safe is it for Alibaba to just allow random people to check-out cars with a selfie?
Pretty safe, actually. Users can demand a test-drive only if they have a certain level on the Zhima credit-scoring service and they also have to be Alibaba Super Members.
It’s just like buying a Coke, with the added step of a credit check, a good history of online purchases and a selfie. However, it’s not the only crazy vending machine idea we’ve seen!
In June, we wrote about buying Instagram likes from a vending machine at the low-low price of 200 likes for $2.
It’s also not giant conglomerate Alibaba’s first forray into the auto-moto business, not by far. Last year, the company debuted its first smart car, the CAR’OS RX5.