Self-driving shopping carts may soon come to Walmart after it wins patent for utterly useless technology

The shopping carts will be equipped with detachable motors and video cameras. Lazy customers can request a cart using a smartphone app. Is America doomed?

    2016/09/15

NSFW    BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS — Walmart has received a patent last week for its self-driving shopping carts system.

According to the US Patent & Trademark Office, the shopping carts will be equipped with detachable motors with video cameras and sensors. Customers can request a cart using a user interface device, potentially a smartphone.

Supermarket employees usually have to round up abandoned carts. With the new system, the carts will be able to return to the docking station automatically. The carts can also be used to restock products that are low in stock.

It is not yet known when or where the new system will be applied in Walmart supermarkets.
A sketch of the self-driving shopping cart included in the Walmart patent application. US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE
A sketch of the self-driving shopping cart included in the Walmart patent application. US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE
Customers can use smartphones to hail self-driving shopping carts in the future. WALMART
Customers can use smartphones to hail self-driving shopping carts in the future. WALMART
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