The future of shopping carts? Self-braking ones. Ford has been using its expertise in the automotive industry to create some highly amusing yet intriguing concepts, like a conveyor-belt bed a noise-canceling doghouse. What Wes Anderson film inspired the automaker remains unknown.
Its self-braking shopping cart is yet another strikingly curious creation. The device draws from Ford’s Pre-Collision Assist technology, designed to prevent any foibles while roaming around retail. If unruly kids ride the cart, use it as a skateboard, or it hightails across the parking lot, there’s a sensor that will detect objects in its trajectory. Then it grinds to a halt.
What inspired this idea? Children, apparently. Here’s what Ford says:
“Children love to copy adults — when they push a trolley, to their minds, it’s like they are behind the wheels of a car — with long, wide supermarket aisles as their racetrack.”
While Ford has a point, it’s also fair to say that adults can be just as reckless. Some just carelessly discard shopping carts after loading their items onto the car. Then the cart rolls away, where it could clash with an innocent driver on the highway.
Of course, this isn’t coming to mainstream shopping carts anytime, soon. Do you know how many shopping carts get stolen? A lot, actually. Imagine loading one with all this tech and it just ending up on the hands of thieves. No, thanks. At best, this is a concept, and it works quite well. It’s a fun prototype and glimpses at what Ford can offer beyond just cars.
Photos courtesy of Ford