We have often theorized that a major use of autonomous cars could be as delivery vehicles. Now it seems at least one startup is trying to put that idea into practice. Will it work here?
A beta version of The Moby Mart, a 24/7 grocery store on wheels that drive themselves, premiered in Shanghai last Tuesday, as Shanghaiist reports. The brains behind Moby Mart, a combined effort between Swedish bicycle cafe startup Wheelys and Hebei University, want the store to be fully autonomous, with AI scanners to check out customers instead of cashiers and a built-in hologram to greet people at the door.
The store does not yet drive itself or sell anything when it premiered, and is mostly a design proposal at the moment, but the team of researchers have high hopes for what it can do.
If completed, the autonomous market could sell produce and pastries, as well as store an in-house pharmacy and defibrillators in the off chance someone needs to be resuscitated. The Moby Mart would use a cloud-based system to drive itself back to the warehouse once it needs to restock.
Not only that, but an app let’s you know if the store is driving bast nearby. And if you wanna take it one step further, Moby Mart’s concept also plans on having four drones per store to deliver packages.
Oh, it should also be solar powered and meant to double as as an air purifier.
This may never come to fruition, and all the different features are somewhat ridiculous, but I’m happy someone is catching on to this idea that autonomous vehicles can be more than just things we ride in.