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Test-Drive Tmall's New Car Vending Machine

Ford vending machine begins dispensing cars in China

You pick the vehicle using your Tmail app, put down a deposit electronically and then confirm your identity by taking a selfie on your phone.

Ford's iconic Mustang, its Explorer SUV and the Escort sedan will be offered in the 100 vehicle test-drive fleet and Alibaba aims to facilitate customers with a smooth online booking process, and then, a visit at the vending centre to collect the auto, which would take no longer than ten minutes according to the internet giant.

Customers with a score of less than 700 will have to pay a small fee for this service.

This oversize vending machine holds 42 cars, letting you test drive and hopefully say yes to a new Ford.

If satisfied with the auto, consumers with credit scores of 750 or above with Alibaba's Sesame scheme - first time users start with 550 points - can pay a 10 percent initial fee and drive off. Now, that partnership has matured in the form of a new vehicle vending machine in Guangzhou, China.

Users will have the pick of 10 different models, running from the Mondeo through to the Explorer and even an imported Mustang.

Ford vending machine begins dispensing cars in China

Users can also only test-drive each model once and they are limited to five test-drives during the first two months of the program.

If you did want to use the "Super Test-Drive Center" then the process is remarkably (scarily) simple.

For the record, this isn't the first instance where the automotive and transportation industry has been witnessing vehicle dealers set up auto vending machines.

Ford and Alibaba announced they were building the vending machine last December as part of a partnership to explore projects around retail, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and mobility services.

In a break from tradition, buyers get a three-day trial period before having to commit to a purchase. But the most exciting thing about this market isn't that people are buying a lot of cars - it's how people are buying them.

In addition to Ford, Alibaba is said to have Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, BMW, Audi and Volvo lined up to participate, according to CNET.