The companies of Ford and Alibaba decided to make the acquisition of the car as simple as buying a soda in a vending machine.
In the Chinese city of Guangzhou, a giant device was installed – the Super Test Drive Center, which operates without a single employee and offers prospective customers a three-day test drive for Ford cars.
The project was launched as part of a cooperation plan between the Chinese company Alibaba, which works in the field of Internet commerce, and the American automaker Ford.
The plan includes the use of technological innovations, in particular, the use of artificial intelligence, cloud processing of data and electronic commerce in order to “rethink the consumer and user experience with cars.”
“We are looking for ways to simplify the lives of customers and give them the opportunity to try before buying,” says Dean Stoneley, vice president of marketing for Ford Asia Pacific.
Potential buyers can get the car through an application from Alibaba for e-commerce called Tmall. Users come through this application to the site of the “Super Test Drive Center”, choose their favorite car model, electronically repay the deposit and reserve the acquisition time.
Also, users will need to download their “Selfie” through the application, as it will be needed to identify the user in the test drive center itself.
Upon arrival to the machine itself, the user simply needs to verify his identity with the help of “selfie” in order to get his car. Transport descends to the client from a multi-storey building, and, according to Alibaba, this process will take no more than 10 minutes.
Since recently in China, according to the system of social rankings, those citizens, who have a rating above 700 points, will be able to use the test drive for free, and those with a lower rating will have to pay.
After three days, users can extend the test drive or buy a car.