Customers can receive service without talking to dealership employees.Ford and Panasonic are testing an automated kiosk system that aims to streamline service visits.The kiosk integrates a key storage system that allows customers to drop off their vehicle, obtain keys for a loaner and eventually retrieve their original keys, all without waiting in line or talking to a single dealership employee.
A touchscreen interface allows owners to select their needed service from a simple menu and pay using a credit or debit card. The system allows users to choose from air conditioner, air filtration, battery, alignment, brake, cooling system, drivetrain, engine, inspection, oil change, recall, suspension or tires, among other services.
"The whole process of using the Kiosk from start to finish took about five minutes," said Ford customer Donavon Black. "It took a lot of the pressure off and I didn't have to worry about anyone trying to upsell me."
For security, the kiosk is equipped with a scanner for a drivers license and e-mailed QR codes, which are used in conjunction with a customer-created PIN when picking up a key.
The system is currently being tested at Lafontaine Ford in Birch Run, Michigan. The company has not yet confirmed plans for a wider rollout.