Amazon's new grocery store will have a smart shopping cart that lets you skip the checkout line

  • Amazon has announced a new smart shopping cart for the grocery store it plans to open in Woodland Hills, California, later this year.
  • The cart can tell which items you place in it and allows you to skip the checkout line by automatically charging your Amazon account when you exit. 
  • The Dash Cart also has a touch screen on its front, and Amazon's grocery store will have a specific lane for shoppers using the cart.
  • The announcement comes after Amazon confirmed in late 2019 its plans to open a new grocery store separate from Whole Foods. 
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Amazon just provided a closer glimpse at what the shopping experience at its first grocery store will be like with the unveiling of the Amazon Dash Cart — a smart shopping cart that can detect which items you place in it.

The cart is designed for handling one or two bags of groceries, and customers using the cart will be able to skip the checkout line. Amazon says it's rolling out the Dash Cart at its grocery store in Woodland Hills, California, when it opens later this year.

The cart uses machine learning to identify items placed in the cart and comes equipped with a touch screen. When leaving the store, sensors identify the shopper's cart and automatically charge the associated Amazon account.

Based on Amazon's introductory video, the Dash Cart seems to work almost like a mobile self-checkout. Shoppers would log in using a QR code in Amazon's app before placing their bags in the cart. The cart identifies barcode items as they're placed in the bag, and shoppers can use the touch screen to type in codes for non-barcode items like produce.

The touch screen will also allow shoppers to view their subtotal and access their Alexa shopping lists, and each cart will also have a built-in coupon scanner.

Amazon's grocery store will have a specific checkout lane for shoppers using Dash Carts that allows them to bypass the checkout line.

Amazon confirmed its plans to open a new grocery store separate from Whole Foods after it began posting job listings for the store in late 2019, as CNET reported at the time. The confirmation came after previous reports from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal shed light in Amazon's grocery store ambitions.

Amazon has reportedly been considering combining the aspects of traditional in-store shopping with online pickup for its grocery stores, according to a New York Times report from last year citing an internal memo from 2017. The Wall Street Journal also reported in March 2019 that Amazon was planning to open dozens of grocery stores in major cities across the United States. Amazon has only confirmed the Woodland Hills location.

Amazon isn't the only company developing smart shopping carts designed to consolidate the shopping and checkout process. Companies such as Caper and Veeve have developed similar carts that can identify objects and allow customers to pay for items directly from the cart rather than the checkout counter. 

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