BrightDrop, GM’s electric commercial vehicle subsidiary, unveiled Trace Grocery, a temperature-controlled grocery cart designed to help customers place online orders. The automaker has collaborated with America’s largest grocery store chain, Kroger, to design the stroller.
Built on the BrightDrop Trace platform, originally designed for last-mile deliveries, Trace Grocery is an eCart that can help grocery store workers easily move up to 350 pounds (159 kg) of food thanks to drive-assist technology.
The eCart not only helps you move your groceries, but also makes sure they don’t drift away thanks to automatic braking that helps keep the cart at a steady 3 mph (5 km/h) speed regardless of the incline.
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Trace Grocery has nine compartments for food storage, each of which can be temperature controlled to ensure the ice cream stays frozen without spoiling the greens. It is also weather resistant which allows it to be used outdoors.
This will be especially useful because BrightDrop envisions Trace Grocery being filled by grocery store clerks and then set aside to wait for a customer to pick up their groceries. This means customers can pick up their groceries when it’s most convenient for them.
Before launching eCart, BrightDrop worked with Kroger and completed a pilot program in Lexington and Versailles, Kentucky. The program was successful enough that the grocer will now be BrightDrop’s first customer and receive production units this year.
“Covid has fueled a dramatic increase in online grocery shopping, and cost-effectively fulfilling these orders has become a key challenge for retailers of all sizes. With Trace Grocery, we saw an opportunity to help companies like Kroger address these challenges,” said BrightDrop President and CEO Travis Katz. “As online shopping continues to grow, BrightDrop is committed to developing innovative solutions to help our customers keep up. Trace Grocery is a great example of this.