If you hate waiting in checkout lanes at your local grocery store, Amazon might have come up with the perfect solution.
The e-commerce giant is launching a line of shopping carts—called Dash Cart—that track grocery items as shoppers add them, then automatically charges them when they remove the grocery bags located in the carts, allowing them to skip the checkout line.
These new carts are set to be available at Amazon’s new Los Angeles-area grocery store, which is expected to open later this year, the company announced. There’s no word yet on where else the Dash Cart will be available.
“Our primary motivation for building this was to be able to save customers time,” Dilip Kumar, vice president of Amazon’s physical retail and technology, told CNET.
“The alternative solutions are standing in the express checkout lanes or fumbling through self-checkout stations.”
Dash Carts utilize the “Just Walk Out” cashier-less technology first deployed at Amazon Go convenience stores, which were opened to the public in 2018.
Each cart is equipped with cameras and sensors that can identify grocery items as they’re placed into the bags inside the cart—and there’s even a built-in scale to weigh certain items. The cart also comes with a handy coupon scanner that applies any discounts to the order.
When the shopping is done, customers can exit via the store’s Dash Cart lane. The company then charges the credit card linked to their Amazon account and emails a copy of the receipt.
“While the technology is complicated, and it’s complex and there’s a lot going on,” Kumar said, “we try to keep a lot of that behind the scenes, so that from a customer standpoint—similar to how we’ve done in some of the prior innovations that we’ve brought to physical stores—this technology takes a backseat. Customers can be immersed in a shopping experience and when you’re done, you can walk through the Dash Cart lane.”
Currently, Amazon lists twenty-six locations for the small-format Amazon Go concept, including in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Most were temporarily shut down starting in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.