No more germs, people.
Honda has filed a patent for a shopping/picnic cart that slots neatly into the front of an electric vehicle. CarBuzz discovered the patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent is for a cart with power-folding wheels integrated into what would obviously be the frunk. As you can see from the illustrations, the cart can be folded and unfolded using a battery-powered actuator. When folding it up, you simply slide it back into the frunk. The battery for the cart is located underneath the cradle, and it connects to a docking station permanently housed in the car.
Once the cart is docked, the onboard battery is charged by the vehicle's much larger battery, usually measured in kWh. The actuator that unfolds the wheels would have a minimal impact on the GM Ultium battery pack, which Honda will use in its upcoming electric vehicles.
The cart's cradle houses two boxes for stuff. We say stuff because the cart's application extends beyond the apparent shopping trim, though it appears improving the shopping experience was Honda's primary objective.
According to the Japanese brand, "there are [a] number of issues with existing shopping carts that have yet to be addressed."
Honestly, the only issue we can think of is grabbing that one shopping car with a bent wheel. We've all done it before. You grab a cart, and as soon as you're halfway through the first aisle, you realize the thing is crabbing all over the place. Honda also mentions the annoyance of having to unload a cart, taking it back to the cart parking, and then the possibility of your latest purchases rolling around in the trunk and possibly breaking.
Honda lays it on a bit thick, to be blunt. This author is 38 years old and has never broken an egg while driving home from the shops.
We do like the unloading part, however. As crossovers and SUVs become more popular, the distance between a standard shop cart and the trunk edge is increasing. It's one of those annoying reasons you should rather buy a sedan. Younger people won't understand why this is a problem. But try and lift heavy items once you hit 50 and all those years playing football catch up with you. You simply slide the groceries in with Honda's cart, and the job's done.
The most significant selling point is the possible contamination of shopping carts, which we never thought about post-pandemic. These days you can't touch a cart without thinking about who might have handled it before and whether they washed their hands after taking a bathroom break. If the last couple of years taught us anything, it's that humans are disgusting.
Having your own personal cart, which you have complete control over, sounds like a joy to us. It may rob the Honda Prologue of some frunk space, but it's worth it in this case.
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