Amazon is preparing to roll out an upgraded version of its Dash Cart at select Whole Foods stores.
The smart shopping cart, which made its debut in Amazon's Fresh stores in September 2020, enables customers to skip the checkout line by scanning a QR code in the Amazon app, placing it in their bags and exiting through a Dash Cart lane to automatically complete their payment.
The Dash Cart, which is currently designed for small- to medium-sized grocery trips and fits two grocery bags, leverages a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify items put in the cart. Its features include a screen where shoppers can access their Alexa shopping list to check items off and view a real-time receipt, a coupon scanner and the ability to weigh produce directly in the cart.
According to Amazon, the new Dash Cart will weigh less than the previous iteration, fit up to four grocery bags and feature a delicates shelf and a lower shelf for oversized items. Its screen will also now display images of fresh items nearby and allow shoppers to type in an item's name instead of a four-digit PLU code.
In addition, the improved cart has an extended all-day battery life that requires less charging and is "weather resistant" so that it can be brought to the car for added convenience.
"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," Dilip Kumar, Amazon's vice president of physical retail and technology, said. "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."
The new Dash Cart will be available at the Whole Foods Market store in Westford, Massachusetts, in the coming months, followed by a few additional Whole Foods Market stores and some Amazon Fresh stores in the United States.
Amazon said that customers will continue to have the option to use traditional store carts and checkout lanes staffed by Whole Foods Market employees.
In addition to the Dash Cart, Amazon has introduced an automated checkout system dubbed "Just Walk Out" at Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods stores and select third-party retailers and sports stadiums.