Vending machines are typically used to purchase things like drinks and snacks, but if you’ve ever been to Japan, then you know that the country’s vending machine game is next level. For example you can buy things like fruits, eggs, SIM cards, umbrellas, and more, so why not cars, right?
Wait, what? Yup, it seems that over in China, e-commerce giant Alibaba has proposed an idea in which one could potentially test drive and buy a car via a vending machine. As you can see in the video above, the concept of the vending machine is roughly similar to those automated multi-story carparks, but instead of using it to park cars, you can use it to select the cars you want to test and buy.
Naturally this leads to questions about the potential abuse of such a system, where people can just choose and car and drive off with it. However according to Alibaba, there will be some security measures in place to prevent that. For starters customers who want to test the cars will need to have a certain credit score via Alibaba’s own Zhima service, and also be Alibaba Super Members.
Also customers will be limited to five test drives every two months, with each test drive allowing drivers to test it for a maximum of three days. Customers can then choose to purchase the car outright using Taobao or arrange to test a different model. At the moment there are only plans to open two such “stores”, one in Shanghai and the other in Nanjing, with plans to eventually open more at a later date.