Ford puts the brakes on outta-control shopping carts
While many kids do like pushing grocery carts, they can get kind of over-enthusiastic about it, and often run into things as a result. It was with this supermarket hazard in mind that Ford recently created the one-off Self-Braking Trolley.
The trolley is equipped with sensors similar to those in Ford's Pre-Collision Assist system, which utilizes a forward-facing camera and radar to scan the road in front of the car. If the driver doesn't respond to warnings of impending collisions with pedestrians or other vehicles, the system automatically applies the brakes.
In the case of the trolley, the brakes are applied if it's about to hit things such as shelves, stacks of produce, or unwary customers. The system could also keep unmanned carts from rolling into vehicles in supermarket parking lots.
"Pre-Collision Assist technology can help our customers avoid accidents or mitigate the effects of being involved in a collision," says 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 a really useful technology for drivers."
The Self-Braking Trolley (demoed in the video below) is part of the ongoing Ford Interventions series of concepts, which is focused on "applying automotive expertise to solve the day-to-day problems we all face." Other examples have included a lane-keeping bed and a noise-cancelling dog kennel.