Innovation

Walmart Getting On The Self-Driving Bandwagon

Uber’s got self-driving cars. Google’s got them, too. Walmart must have been feeling left out, because it’s announced it’s getting in on this “self-driving” fun.

Walmart said it’s filed for a patent for a self-driving shopping cart. That’s not to say the Arkansas-based giant is working on a specific product; it’s just opining on the idea.

Seems like a mix between Instacart and Uber, right? Walmart has been clearly thinking hard about this; sample renderings were included in the filing. The concept is to get shoppers moving to the products they want to buy. Perhaps this initiative is not implying that shoppers are slow on their feet; it’s more that stores can be overwhelmingly difficult to navigate, especially when you have certain items in mind and you’re not familiar with the store layout.

The idea is motoring on a “Roomba-esque” device that is afixed to the bottom of a shopping cart. To move the motorizing cart, customers would tap their smartphone or other mobile device and activate the cart through some sort of app. The cart would move via a centralized computer, navigated by sensors throughout the store.

We’re already picturing runaway carts or even bumper carts … what about you?

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