Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
The Carvana Car Vending Machine is the first fully-automated, coin-operated car vending machine in the U.S. Similar to how a can of soda is dispensed through a vending machine once it's been purchased, Carvana's Car Vending Machine dispenses cars originally purchased online to customers through a fully-automated process. The Car Vending Machine provides a first-of-its kind, unparalleled user experience created through the combination of technology, robotics, and a custom made glass environment. To pick-up a purchased vehicle, the customer enters their name and drops a coin into the Car Vending Machine's Control Panel, which then lights up and initiates the vending process. The Vending Machine then retrieves the car from the Tower and places it on a track, which then moves the car through the machine until it reaches and enters the designated Delivery Bay. The Bay then opens and the customer is invited in, to take possession of their new vehicle.
Carvana is all about creating a better consumer experience using technology and forward thinking design. Traditionally, brick-and-mortar dealerships often leave a lot to be desired from a customer experience standpoint. That considered, for Carvana customers who prefer to pick-up their car, we wanted to create a phenomenal, memorable experience that brings back the joy of car buying and is grounded in our company's brand. From concept to opening, we spent a full year designing and building the world's first fully-automated, coin-operated Car Vending Machine. Every decision we made was driven by consumer insights and our desire to create an amazing user experience.
From the earliest planning stages, we wanted to meet the actual goal of creating an actual vending machine for cars. To ensure the execution of the best possible pick-up experience for customers, Carvana scoured the globe in order to source the perfect display tower for our Car Vending Machine concept. In order to begin the process, we first had to determine where in the world these types of towers exist. Our search spanned the corners of Asia to the heart of Europe, ending in Germany. Carvana partnered with Nussbaum Technologies of Kehl, Germany for the display tower. That effort was only the beginning of our quest to build the first Car Vending Machine, as we discovered that the towers – as used throughout Asia and Europe – were primarily used as parking management structures. That meant that the structures themselves were not appropriately outfitted to deliver to the purchaser the way our vision intended. Together with the Nussbaum team, Carvana developed the "Tunnel," in which the car traverses the ground level to the "Bay" were the car is placed in its final position ready for perfect indoor viewing by the customer. To achieve that, we needed an advanced system to move the car vertically for an extended distance. For that movement, we turned to WFT of Germany. WFT developed the Automated Delivery System (ADS), which seamlessly and wirelessly drives the vehicle through the tunnel, selects a free bay and delivers the vehicle into the all glass bay.
Carvana didn't stop there, as we reached out to Blue Line Studios (BLS), one of the leading environmental design firms located in Las Vegas, Nevada. BLS has been building custom environments for decades, and with that know how, we engaged them to create our state-of-the-art futuristic customer reception area. Complete with RGBW DMX controlled lights, the customer reception area is truly something to marvel. Custom engineered and designed, this one-of-a-kind customer reception area rounds out the Carvana theme with an elegant and powerful statement. The Carvana customer reception area is an artistic approach to the everyday retail arrival experience. Lastly, to commemorate the entirety of the experience, Carvana internally developed proprietary technology that captures the customer's visit to the Car Vending Machine in a dynamic video that is sharable for the customer on any social media platform.
For the exterior design, Carvana turned to the architectural design firm WHN in Charlotte, North Carolina. WHN took the concept plan and put it to paper, complete with modern stylings in glass – lots of glass.
Transparency is a core value at Carvana, and in many ways, the Car Vending Machine is a tangible reflection of that tenant. With its sleek, state-of-the-art design and functionality, the Car Vending Machine caters to people's curiosity, as a person can witness the journey their car takes from the tower into their waiting arms. To a degree, the moment at the Car Vending Machine is a microcosm of the customer's overall purchase experience with us. The ability to easily engage the process from start to finish evokes a sense of pride and accomplishment in a person, and for those of us at Carvana, being a part of the general symbolism provided by the Car Vending Machine is a very powerful thing. It's a physical manifestation of what we work to build our name on.
Not only does the Car Vending Machine offer a truly one-of-a-kind experience that enhances the process of purchasing a vehicle for customers, but it also serves a practical purpose as well. The presence of the Car Vending Machine allows Carvana to help save people money who want to avoid additional costs associated with home delivery of their purchased vehicles. We spend 10 percent of what a dealership typically spends, and we can move three times the amount of cars. Furthermore, the cost passed along to consumers is just five percent of what a dealership costs. Meaning, if a dealership passes along a $1,000 cost to the consumer to purchase a vehicle, Carvana is passing along just $50 for the same vehicle and a better experience. With us, customers are winning.
Buying a car is one of life’s biggest purchases, and it is traditionally fraught with stress, so it was great to see the Carvana team execute on their vision of making that process playful, memorable and actually functional.