We first heard about the extraordinary “car vending machine” at the end of last year. Now, Ford and Alibaba, who teamed up to design the system, have flipped the switch on the massive machine so that people can try it out for real. It’s located in Guangzhou, China, and offers a range of vehicles for three-day test drives. The five-story contraption, which holds 42 vehicles in all, is essentially a Ford-branded garage with rotating platforms, similar in design to those commonly seen in Japanese cities and other countries in Asia. You can begin the transaction via an app before turning up to collect the car from the vending machine, dubbed the “Super Test-drive Center.” There’s no human interaction during the process. You simply browse the app for the car you’d like to take out for a spin — the guy in the video above opts for a Ford Mustang — and then take a selfie. This enables the vending machine’s facial recognition technology to confirm your booking, and presumably also gives the cops a decent image to work with should you fail to return the car. When you arrive at the Super Test-drive Center, you’ll need to tap on the digital display… Read full this story
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