Unattended Retail

The DMV Goes To The Grocery Store

The next stop on the road to technological evolution in the transportation industry may just be unattended.

Across the industry, from carmakers and road regulators to bike share programs, companies are looking to unattended retail tech to improve efficiency and unlock new revenue opportunities.

In the February edition of the Unattended Retail Tracker™, PYMNTS highlights the latest developments in unattended technology, and how those developments are disrupting the transportation industry.

Worldwide happenings in Unattended Retail

Unattended technology is making its presence felt in the transportation industry, but the machines aren’t working alone. Rather, automated technology is being combined with human expertise to drive new revenue opportunities and boost sales and efficiency in the space.

Ford, for one, recently partnered with Alibaba on a concept to sell the car company’s vehicles in massive vending machines. With the partnership in place, customers will be able to use Alibaba’s Taobao app to scan the vehicle they want to test drive, enter basic information and pick out preferred features such as color before having three full days to take the car out for a spin. 

Similarly, Nissan announced the start of a pilot test for a self-driving fleet of taxis, modifying the Japanese automaker’s Leaf model. Employees would work behind the scenes to optimize pickup and drop-offs for the service, and the autonomous vehicles could be hailed using a smartphone app.

To find the rest of the latest Unattended Retail headlines, check out the Tracker’s News and Trends section.

Going unattended to get more convenient

But it isn’t just the automakers. Government agencies regulating the roads want to get their hands on unattended retail technology as well.

In a recent interview, Jessica Gonzalez, assistant deputy director of public affairs at the Sacramento, California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), discussed the DMV’s unattended service kiosks, what inspired the agency to embrace unattended tech, how the machines operate and the agency’s future plans for the technology.

In the interview, Gonzalez told PYMNTS that, so far, the more than 100 terminals deployed around California are accomplishing what they were supposed to. 

“We were seeing a lot of people come into the field office, waiting in line and doing transactions they can do online and didn’t need to come into the office for, such as vehicle registration,” Gonzalez explained. “But customers wanted that license plate or tag immediately, so they came into the office. That takes up space and time, so we wanted to use a kiosk as a way to save [both].”

To read this feature story, get the latest news and trends and peruse a directory of more than 100 providers, check out the PYMNTS Unattended Retail Tracker™.

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About the Tracker

The PYMNTS.com Unattended Retail Tracker™ serves as a bimonthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent news and trends as well as a directory highlighting key players contributing to the expansive unattended retail ecosystem.

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