Robomart, a robotics startup, has introduced an automated car that is intended to serve as a grocery store on wheels.
The Santa Clara California-based startup Robomart has produced a van with both heating and refrigeration, with the goal of delivering produce and perishable goods.
It is also exploring the option of having vehicles specially designed for types of products, like grocery aisles on wheels. The company plans on rolling out a pilot program in the Bay Area in the summer of 2018, and has applied for a permit to test autonomous vehicles California. It believes this will be approved soon.
Robomart lets shoppers call a self-driving vehicle with food in the same way you would hail a ride from a cab service. Users will be able to summon Robomart with an app on smartphones. The app will unlock the vehicle’s doors and consumers can pick the goods they want after that. A patent is pending on the system’s checkout process, which includes cameras to keep track of selections and bill them as needed, in what is intended to be a speedy process.
This tech could be a solution to the biggest obstacle faced by people trying to sell groceries online: the desire consumers have to see and choose the groceries they want. The Robomart system would offer them a chance to do so while still enjoying the convenience of online ordering. Robomart wants to license its tech to grocers and retailers big and small.
Smaller grocers could discover a way to compete with online deliveries via Robomart, while larger chains might adopt it either for the sake of exclusivity or the quality of the delivery experience.