Ford Self-Braking Trolley applies driver assistance tech to shopping

While there are people who'd readily admit being addicted to shopping, few of those will probably look forward to doing groceries. It's one of life's necessary evils that has created a market for online groceries and deliveries. Not everyone can afford to escape regular trips to the supermarket, which parents with toddlers may look to with dread for fear of trolley accidents. Putting its driving expertise to work, Ford has designed a new trolley that intelligently step on the brakes to prevent kids from colliding with people or shelves.

Unlike adults, tykes look to doing groceries as an adventure or at least a chance to get candies or sweets. Unfortunately, their attention span means they easily get bored and their imaginations latch on to the most interesting object they could find. That usually means a trolley that sparks dreams of being a race car driver of some sort. And then the accidents happen. Unless you have Ford's new cart, that is.

This hi-tech cart, which looks more like an art piece than a piece of utilitarian equipment, practically uses the same concepts as many driver assistance technologies found in cars today, including Ford's The basic idea is to use sensors and software that stops cars from colliding into people to stop child-driven trolleys from colliding into anything.

As part of its Interventions series, Ford has put that Pre-Collision Assist Technology found int its cars on supermarket carts. Those carts basically have a camera at front and bottom part of the trolley. When it detects that there is an object in front of it, it will put on the brakes and stop the cart from moving, either on its own or with the kid in tow.

Of course, these Self-Braking Trolleys will probably never be a common sight in supermarkets. Not only would they be expensive to make, they also don't seem to have enough room for groceries as well. Of course, that's not their point anyway. It's simply an example of how, in Ford's mind, advancements in automotive technology can help inform and improve the design of even the most mundane of things, like a dangerous shopping cart.