Amazon said that the company is expanding its smart shopping cart to a Whole Foods store in Massachusetts. Amazon will roll out the technology in other locations in the coming months.
This kind of shopping cart eliminates the need for users to queue up to the checkout, and it can track and count items when items are placed in the shopping cart. Amazon launched Dash Cart within its Fresh grocery store in September 2020.
The carts are built on Amazon's "Just Walk Out" cashier-less technology, first deployed in Amazon Go convenience stores. It uses a combination of computer vision and sensors to identify items as they are placed inside the cart. A display on the cart adjusts the total price as shoppers add and remove items. Shoppers can leave the store through a special aisle, and Amazon will automatically debit their credit card for the purchase amount.
In addition to bringing the technology to Whole Foods, Amazon will also introduce a new, larger version of the Dash Cart, which the company will first deploy in Whole Foods stores in Massachusetts, before rolling out elsewhere as well as at some Fresh grocery stores. The company says the upgraded cart will be able to hold up to four grocery bags (up from two previously) and will also have a lower shelf for bulkier products.
The carts are also weather-resistant, so users can roll them out of stores and place merchandise on cars in parking lots. To test the technology and make sure it can withstand harsh weather conditions, Amazon bakes them in an oven, Dilip Kumar, Amazon's vice president of physical retail and technology, said in a blog post on Monday. Baked and also put it in a "giant freezer". Previously, shoppers had to leave their shopping carts in the store when they left the store and had to carry the items into the cart.
Amazon is continuing to expand its cashier-less technology beyond Go stores. It introduced the Just Walk out the system to its Whole Foods and Fresh stores last year, and in 2020 began selling the technology to third parties.