Ever thought about just casually trying out a new car on a whim? It would likely be fun to just come in and test-drive that new sedan you’ve been eyeing without all the paperwork and the car salesman’s rehearsed spiel. That’s probably what the folks at Ford and Alibaba had in mind when they teamed up to build a vending machine for test-driving cars.
The cat-themed Super Test-Drive Center in Guangzhou, China can store up to 42 cars ready to test out. Potential buyers need only download the Tmall app, check the catalogue and pick the Ford vehicle of their choice, pay a deposit (via the app), schedule a time, and take a selfie so the unmanned vending machine can identify them.
The test drives are free but only to citizens with a credit score of 700 or above from the Chinese government’s Black Mirror-esque social ranking system called Zhima. Those with a lower score will have to pay a fee.
Alibaba says the pick-up process for test-drives are easy and take less than 10 minutes to complete. They also state that interested buyers can test out the vehicle for three days.