Ford introduces the self-braking shopping cart

It detects cars, people and other objects, then applies the brakes

Shopping carts are my greatest fear in supermarket parking lots. People leave them sitting around everywhere in precarious positions between cars or just in the middle of nowhere. My fear is that one of these shopping carts is going to end up smashing into my car, something I've seen happen to others but not myself yet. Ford of Europe has an idea (probably a very expensive idea) to make sure this kind of thing does not happen.

Let us introduce the Ford "self-braking trolley," or shopping cart, as we'd call it here in America. Ford says it works similarly to its cars equipped with pre-collision assist technology. There's a sensor on the shopping cart that scans the path ahead and will automatically apply the brakes if it senses an impending collision. This means that when a gust of wind starts pushing an abandoned cart toward your car in a parking lot, it would automatically come to a stop before denting your door.

Of course, the self-braking shopping cart has other benefits, as well. If a kid decides to race around with a cart and send it flying all over the store, the brakes could be applied before it ends up careening into shelves of groceries or any other precarious setup. The cart can also detect people, so any cart-to-shopper collisions would be averted.

This tech is part of Ford's "Intervention Series," which also includes neat stuff like the noise-cancelling dog kennel and lane-keeping bed. The shopping cart idea brings us closer to actual vehicle technology, though. It even has the Ford badge emblazoned onto the white and blue cart. Check out the video above to see it in action. We're sure it's prohibitively expensive tech for such a simple device, but it sure would alleviate some fears.

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