Amazon Dash Cart is getting an overhaul, providing added technology and convenience features.
Initially launched in September 2020, Amazon’s smart shopping carts, Dash Carts, allow consumers to skip the checkout line — a service available across several Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S. The company made updates to reflect customer feedback, improved computer vision and sensor fusion technology, and back-end innovation and testing.
The updated Dash Cart will be available at the Whole Foods Market store in Westford, Massachusetts, in the coming months, with plans to expand to more Whole Foods Market stores and many Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S.
"As many of our customers return to their in-store grocery shopping routines, it's exciting to introduce new and unique ways for them to shop our stores," said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer for Whole Foods Market. "We're thrilled that the newest version of Dash Cart will debut in our Westford store and can't wait to hear the feedback from our customers there."
New Capabilities, Added Convenience
On the technology front, the carts now have an extended all-day battery life that requires less charging, and can accurately determine where the cart is in the store in order to show consumers nearby products deals through the Dash Cart screen. Using the screen, consumers can type in an item’s name instead of a four-digital PLU code.
The updated Dash Carts now weigh less than the original version but can hold double the capacity — four bags instead of two. Additionally, the carts now include two shelves, one for delicates and a lower shelf for oversized items.
“The Dash Cart stabilizes nearly instantly—we’ve created algorithms that can determine signal from noise, like the cart moving through the store (noise), so it can calculate weight (signal) without asking shoppers to stop the cart,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president, physical retail and technology, Amazon.
Additionally, the carts are now weather resistant, able to travel to the car regardless of inclement weather.
“To test durability, we baked the technology in an oven and froze test carts in a giant freezer to ensure they would survive harsh weather conditions,” said Kumar. “We also dropped heavy weights into test carts’ baskets more than 100,000 times to ensure they would remain usable after impact — needless to say, we feel confident the Dash Cart is durable.”
To use the new version of the Dash Cart,consumers log in through a QR code in the Amazon or Whole Foods Market app. From there they can sign in and begin using the cart, placing their bags (if using them) in the cart and scanning their items using one of the cameras near the handlebar.
Dash Carts use a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to verify each item placed in — and removed from — the cart. The Dash Cart’s screen displays a real-time receipt and, upon checkout, consumers can simply exit the store through the Amazon Dash Cart lane.
Payment is processed using the credit card associated with their Amazon account and consumers receive an emailed receipt shortly after leaving the store.
“The Dash Cart is one of the ways we’re helping customers save time during grocery shopping trips, and the recent enhancements include the features shoppers said they wanted most, giving them another option to reduce friction from grocery shopping trips of all sizes,” said Kumar. “Our goal with the Dash Cart has always been to make in-store shopping more convenient by eliminating the need to stand in checkout lines or unload and reload items at self-checkout stations, and we hope shoppers enjoy these updates as much as we think they will.”
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