Alibaba opens car vending machine in China that gives free test drives for people with good social credit

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Alibaba and Ford signed an agreement to form a partnership last year that would see both companies working together on new technology opportunities. Now, companies have opened a cat-themed car vending machine in Guangzhou, China, which allows customers to easily test the Ford vehicles they are looking to buy. The "Super Test-Drive Center" is a digital vending machine without staff that works with the Tmall application. Users select the car model they are interested in, deposit a deposit electronically, schedule a pick-up time and take out a selfie so that the vending machine can recognize them when they pick up the car for a test drive. The test units are free, as long as the clients have a very respectable social credit score of 700 or higher.
In China, the government rates citizens who use the social credit system (the Alibaba implementation is known as Zhima or Sesame Credit), which is based on the behavior of people and can be affected by financial crimes or committing a crime , and what a person says, what they buy, and what they do. In an email to The Verge, Alibaba said that users with a score below 700 will have to pay a fee. According to Wired, users start with a score of 550 when they have no transaction history.
And yes, in fact there was an episode of Black Mirror about this kind of social classification that went terribly wrong.

Photo: Alibaba

Photo: Alibaba

When they arrive at the vending machine, customers verify their identity and the car is dispensed from the multi-storey structure. The process is fast and Alibaba says it does not last more than 10 minutes. Customers can drive the car for three days, testing the car in different scenarios, such as a normal daily trip, a trip to the grocery store and a road trip, if they wish. AutoBlog previously reported that Alibaba will build kiosks throughout China and that customers could also buy the car directly with a 10 percent deposit and financing through Alibaba subsidiaries.

Photo: Alibaba

Photo: Alibaba

Photo: Alibaba

While the kiosk is nice and convenient, this is not the first time we see a car vending machine. A five-story, fully automatic, with large coins was opened in Nashville in 2015.

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