patent law

Carvana’s Vending Machine Full O’ Cars

For the holidays our family took a trip to Arizona to visit my in-laws. On the way, I noticed a tower full of shiny vehicles off of the 10 freeway in Ontario, CA. This tower is one of Carvana’s vehicle vending machines. Car buyers can buy a car online and then pick up the car at the vending machine by using an oversized coin. The vending machine dispenses the car as if it was a candy bar. The buzz-worthiness of this vending machine has helped Carvana get its name out there and differentiate itself from other car selling platforms.

Carvana’s has a patent US10472843 that relates to their car vending machine. Their patented claim describes a tower where the vehicles are stored, a delivery bay, and a corridor between the tower and delivery bay. Vehicles are robotically carried from the tower to the delivery bay, where it is received by the car buyer.

Carvana’s Vehicle Vending Machine

According to the patent, the vending machine can also have a video system that records the vehicle as it travels through the vending machine when being dispensed. The video can be provided to the car buyer who can then download the video or share it through social media. Thus, this vehicle vending machine appears to be (at least in part) part of Carvana’s marketing campaign.

Here is a video from Carvana showing the vehicle transaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnHaPVP-opw

Turns out that my in-laws had just purchased a car through Carvana, but they had their vehicle delivered to them (rather than getting the car through the vending machine).

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