It’s surprising just how painful it is to have a shopping cart run into the back of your leg. They seem perfectly positioned to inflict the most pain on a very tender spot. In another moment of ingeniousness, the Ford Motor Company has applied the same technology used to help drivers avoid accidents in their cars to help prevent fender-benders in the shopping aisles.
Ford’s Pre-Collision Assist technology uses a forward-facing camera in conjunction with radar to detect objects in front of the car, such as other vehicles, cyclists, and even pedestrians. When an object is detected, the technology automatically applies the brakes, preventing collisions. Ford’s “self-braking trolley” uses a similar technology to scan for upcoming people and objects and then applies the brakes before the cart runs into that person or object. The self-braking trolley is just a prototype for right now.
The move is a part of Ford’s Interventions, a program that applies automotive expertise to solve problems that we face every day and not necessarily in a car. “Pre-Collision Assist technology can help our customers avoid accidents or mitigate the effects of being involved in a collision,” explains Anthony Ireson, director of Marketing Communications for Ford of Europe. “We thought that showing how similar thinking could be applied to a shopping trolley would be a great way to highlight what can be really useful technology for drivers.” \
Hey, if it keeps your cart from crashing into my ankle, then it sounds really useful.