Ford has yet another weird concept product inspired by the safety technologies in modern cars. After showing a lane-keeping bed, dog house, and a method to use rainwater as washer fluid, the Blue Oval has now revealed its self-braking shopping trolley. Yup, we are not kidding.
The automaker says its newest creation tries to reduce the stress on people who do their daily shopping with their children. Ford has even released a short video featuring parents who talk how tricky it is to shop in big supermarkets with children careening off at high speed. “It’s impossible to control children when they get the trolley because they can’t see through it, they just drive it like a maniac.”
Ford’s solution is called the Self-Braking Trolley and it’s basically a shopping trolley with integrated pre-collision assist technology. The system takes inspiration from the brand’s electronic assist systems in cars and uses a sensor to act like a real vehicle. It scans the area ahead for people and objects and automatically applies the brakes when a potential collision is detected.
“Parents often dread supermarket shopping because they are trying to get a job done and kids just want to play,” Tanith Carey, parenting expert, comments. “Children love to copy adults and experiment with feeling more in control. 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.”
Well, we can’t say this isn’t true. Driving trolleys around big supermarkets is always fun but, you know, we have to keep things under control. Ford’s self-braking shopping trolley is just a prototype for the time being, but it’s nice to see the manufacturer is trying to promote its assist technologies in such a creative way. Keep it up, Ford!
Gallery: Ford self-braking shopping cart
COLOGNE, Germany, April 24, 2019 – When it comes to raising the blood pressure, for parents, the weekly shop is right up there with getting the kids to bed and meal times. And while toddler meltdowns and trips to the sweet aisle are trying, few moments can be more worrying than seeing your child career off at high speed on a supermarket trolley.
Now Ford has come up with a way of taking the stress out of even that situation – taking inspiration from the means by which new car technology helps drivers to avoid accidents on the road.
Available in most Ford models, Pre-Collison Assist technology uses a forward-facing camera and radar to detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists in the road, and automatically applies the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings.
The “Self-Braking Trolley” uses a sensor to achieve a similar outcome – to scan ahead for people and objects and automatically apply the brakes when a potential collision is detected.
“Parents often dread supermarket shopping because they are trying to get a job done and kids just want to play,” said parenting expert Tanith Carey, author of What's My Child Thinking? Practical Child Psychology for Modern Parents. “Children love to copy adults and experiment with feeling more in control. 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.”
Just a prototype for the time being, the “Self-Braking Trolley” is part of a series of Ford Interventions; applying automotive expertise to solve the day-to-day problems we all face.
“Pre-Collision Assist technology can help our customers avoid accidents or mitigate the effects of being involved in a collision. We thought that showing how similar thinking could be applied to a shopping trolley would be a great way to highlight what can be a really useful technology for drivers,” said Anthony Ireson, director, Marketing Communications, Ford of Europe.