At a vending machine, you might get some candy or a Coke.

But how about a car?!

“People are wondering what is that object going up?” said Tempe city Councilwoman Lauren Kuby.

Standing tall off Red Mountain Loop 202, the Carvana vending machine is now full of brand new cars that customers can get buy by simply putting in a large gold coin after they go through a 10-minute purchase process online.

Kuby said this new addition is part of a much bigger innovation picture in Tempe, thanks to a big player.

“ASU has been the most innovative university in the nation for three years running,” said Kuby.

She said many students are staying in the city after graduation and working on some big technology projects.

Soon, you’ll be able to get around town by the new “streetcar,” which is a way of public transportation, but down on Mill Avenue. Those cars will run solely on battery power.

“We thought best to have battery technology there so that we could model renewable technology,” said Kuby.

And Tempe Town Lake was a project born in an ASU classroom.

“The idea came from a student class and right now it is the second most popular tourist destination in the state of Arizona,” said Kuby.

The lake is now home to high-rise apartment complexes that rely on “agriscaping” to reduce landfill waste, one step closer to the city’s goal of working toward 100 percent renewable energy.

And with that top technology comes the people too. Kuby said the city is not only rapidly growing in population, but Tempe now sees 4 million tourists a year.

“People working in Tempe, living in Tempe, playing in Tempe. It’s the place to be in the Valley,” said Kuby.

She said a recent Tech30 study ranked Tempe as the No. 1 destination for tech companies to buy and rent office space.

As for the new car vending machine, Carvana is putting the final touches on it and said they’ll be launching it soon. Of course, you have to have the big gold coin to get a car.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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