Network-based system for selling and servicing cars

  • US 10,692,126 B2
  • Filed: 07/05/2016
  • Issued: 06/23/2020
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/17/2015
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A method for selling cars, the method comprising:

  • receiving, at a server, a registration of a vehicle that is available for showing;

    storing, in a memory of the server, registration information about the vehicle in a table comprising registration information about a plurality of vehicles that are available for showing, wherein the vehicle and the plurality of vehicles are each owned by different owners;

    receiving, at the server, information from a distributed plurality of car computers, wherein each of the plurality of car computers is installed in a respective vehicle of the plurality of vehicles;

    receiving, at the server, geographic location information for each vehicle having registration information stored in the table, wherein the geographic location information is received from the plurality of car computers;

    receiving, from a mobile computer of a prospective buyer, a first input selecting a type of vehicle having registration information stored in the table;

    determining, by the server, a current geographic location of the mobile computer;

    determining, by the server, a mapped location of one or more vehicles matching the type of vehicle selected relative to the current geographic location of the mobile computer, wherein the mapped location is based on the geographic location information;

    causing, by the server, the mapped location of the one or more vehicles to be shown on a map displayed by the mobile computer, the map including indicators of the geographic location information for one or more vehicles that are available for showing and are the type of vehicle based on the current geographic location of the mobile computer, wherein the mapped location of the one or more vehicles is obfuscated as one or more shaded regions shown on the map;

    receiving, from the mobile computer, a second input selecting one shaded region of the one or more shaded regions shown on the map, the one shaded region associated with one vehicle of the one or more vehicles shown on the map;

    receiving, from the mobile computer, a request for a showing of the one vehicle for the prospective buyer;

    receiving, at the server and from an owner of the one vehicle, a confirmation message that the showing of the one vehicle is allowed by the owner of the one vehicle;

    revealing, in response to receiving the confirmation message, an exact geographic position of the one vehicle to the prospective buyer;

    receiving, from a vehicle computer associated with the one vehicle, verification information validating an identity of the prospective buyer when the prospective buyer is at the one vehicle;

    unlocking, via an instruction sent by the server across a wireless communication network and in response to validating the identity of the prospective buyer, a door of the one vehicle;

    storing, in the memory of the server, information about the showing of the one vehicle to the prospective buyer; and

    adjusting, by the server and based on the information about the showing stored in the memory of the server, a credit value of a credit account stored in the memory of the server and associated with the owner of the one vehicle.

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