Ford Is Turning to Tech to Make Buying a Car Less Painful

January 23, 2017, 5:01 AM UTC

Ford Motor is rolling out software designed to eliminate the time-consuming and, as it turns out, much-loathed chore of buying and financing a new vehicle at the dealership.

Ford Motor Credit Company is using a new platform developed by San Francisco-based tech company AutoFi that lets customers buy and finance one of its vehicles through the dealer website from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer. Once the transaction is completed online, customers must still sign the paperwork in person to finalize and collect the purchase.

The idea, Ford says, is to give customers the best of both worlds: reduced time at the dealership and a chance to see the car before signing off on the final paperwork.

Traditional automakers are increasingly moving toward the tech world, as the rise of online car sales startups and streamlined buy-and-finance models take off with unconventional companies like Tesla (TSLA).

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The platform will be first available at Ohio dealerships, after which it will eventually roll out to Ford and Lincoln dealerships around the U.S. Ford did not provide a timeline of when it would become more broadly available.

Ford Credit also made an investment in AutoFi. Though it did not disclose the amount, Ford (F) is not a majority shareholder in the tech firm, a spokesperson said.

As many as 83% of Americans say they would like to spend as little time at the dealership as possible when shopping for a new car, according to a new survey of 1,217 U.S. adults conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Ford.