in august, Tmall — alibaba’s business-to-consumer platform — announced a ‘vending machine for vehicles’ that would make “buying cars as easy as buying a coke.” in january 2018, two of those machines will be unveiled to the public. volkswagen, honda, sprite, dasani: the weight of deciding will be lifted from the shoulders of alibaba super members and of those who can afford to pay for the service. exact figures haven’t been released yet, but everyone knows that the price per pepsi in a 12 pack is cheaper than purchasing one whole sale from a vending machine. this is the price of convenience, and Tmall’s car machine is all about convenience.


two locations are opening this coming january 2018 to shanghai and nanjing
all images courtesy of alibaba group

 

 

it’s an attractive service model. download an app, touch a few screens, schedule a time, head to your local cat-shaped car machine, use face-recognition technology (modern day quarters), select your car, watch it shuffle around, and hope that it doesn’t get stuck in the coils. needless to say, the ole caveman, shake-the-entire-machine-until-it-falls method won’t work here. apparently not all soda-buying principles translate to car buying. for good reason; sodas last a few minutes, maybe an hour, about the time of some traditional test drives. Tmall’s system is no carmax. vend a car at one of these machines and users will get three entire days with the vehicle. when those three days are up, it can be purchased right there, on the phone, with no salesmen, no human interaction and seemingly no paperwork.

 


facial recognition is standard at this vending machine

 

 

not much is said about insurance or other logistics, but it seems like a dream come true for busy bees who bow to convenience over all else. those expecting low-to-no markup on these cars will have to wait and see.

 

alibaba
hours of waiting in lines and talking to salesmen can now all be done from an app

 

 

it’s an extremely convenient system, but it is one amazing idea among many. autonomy, ride-sharing: hundreds of other new ideas are flooding the automative industry. it will be interesting to see which of them catch on for a moment, and which of them are improved upon before they are even put to the test.

 


hopefully these won’t get stuck in the coils

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news