BrightDrop, a subsidiary of GM working on electric commercial vehicles, unveiled the Trace Grocery, a temperature controlled grocery cart designed to help customers with online orders. The automaker has worked with America’s largest chain of grocery stores, Kroger, in designing the cart.
Built on the BrightDrop Trace platform, which was initially intended for last-mile deliveries, the Trace Grocery is an eCart that can help grocery store employees move up to 350 lbs (159 kg) of food easily thanks to propulsion assistance technology.
Not only does the eCart help move the groceries, it ensures that they don’t get away thanks to auto-braking, which helps keep the cart at a steady speed of 3 mph (5 km/h) no matter the incline.
The Trace Grocery has nine compartments to hold food and each can be temperature controlled to make sure that ice cream stays frozen, without damaging your greens. It also has weatherproofing to allow it to be used outdoors.
That will be particularly useful, as BrightDrop envisions the Trace Grocery being filled by grocery store clerks, then placed curbside to await a customer who will pick up their groceries. That means that customers can pick up their groceries when it’s most convenient for them.
Before unveiling the 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 will receive production units later this year.
“COVID has driven a dramatic increase in online grocery shopping, and fulfilling these orders profitably has become a major challenge for retailers of all sizes. With the Trace Grocery, we saw an opportunity to help companies like Kroger tackle these challenges head on,” 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 pace. The Trace Grocery is a perfect example of this.”