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This Is How To Defeat Car-Smashing Shopping Carts

Video / 6 Comments

Automatic braking comes to a different kind of four-wheeled contraption.

Automakers are constantly at the forefront of innovation, especially when it comes to the safety of wheeled vehicles. And those innovations they develop can apply to a lot more than just cars. Take this latest project from Ford, for example.

Highlighted in the video below, this experimental concept shopping cart was developed by the American automaker's European division. It uses the company's advanced automatic braking technology – including sensors and electronically operated brakes – to keep it from rolling away, whether by itself or with a runaway kid behind the handlebar.

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"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. "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."

Though it's "just a prototype for the time being," we could easily see something like Ford's Self-Braking Trolley concept finding its way into supermarkets in the near future.

"Pre-Collision Assist technology can help our customers avoid accidents or mitigate the effects of being involved in a collision," said Ford marketing communications director Anthony Ireson. "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."

The project stems from the same Interventions initiative that gave us the noise-canceling dog kennel and a "smart bed" designed to keep selfish/shifting sleepers on their side of the mattress. And we bet there'll be more such innovative applications for Ford tech revealed in the near future.