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Amazon’s Dash Cart Gets Updated, Expands to 1st Whole Foods Market

New version of smart cart includes improved computer vision and sensor fusion for more convenient shopping experience
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Amazon’s Dash Cart Gets Updated
Amazon's Dash Cart screen will now display images of fresh items nearby, like produce, for shoppers to choose from.

Amazon is continuing to evolve grocery checkout for a more shopper-friendly experience with the release a new version of its Dash Cart.

The company first introduced the Amazon Dash Cart in September 2020 at Amazon Fresh stores. The smart shopping cart’s purpose was to make grocery trips quicker by skipping the checkout line.

According to Dilip Kumar, the company’s VP of physical retail and technology, Amazon built the updated version of the Dash Cart to continue to offer the features shoppers love most, like real-time receipts and the ability to weigh produce directly in the cart’s basket, alongside new conveniences and technology advancements.

Features of the new version of the Dash Cart include:

  • Lightweight with more than double the capacity of previous carts, holding four grocery bags instead of two.
  • A delicates shelf as well as a lower shelf for oversized items.
  • Weather-resistant features so carts can be durable enough to go all the way to the car.
  • An extended all-day battery life that requires less charging, making carts even more readily available for customers.

Additionally, the Dash Cart screen will now display images of fresh items nearby, like produce, for shoppers to choose from, or shoppers can type in the item name (“tomato,” for example) instead of a four-digit PLU code. Amazon has evolved the carts’ ability to more precisely determine where the cart is in the store to better show nearby products, as well as deals.

Kumar noted that these updates are the result of customer feedback, improved computer vision and sensor fusion technology, and back-end innovation and testing. “For example, we doubled the capacity of the cart while maintaining the ability to quickly measure produce weight for certified accuracy and price,” he wrote in a blog post. “The Dash Cart stabilizes nearly instantly — we’ve created algorithms that can determine signal from noise, like the cart moving through the store (noise), so it can calculate weight (signal) without asking shoppers to stop the cart.”

Additionally, for the first time, the Dash Cart — specifically the new version — will be available at Whole Foods Market locations. It will make its debut in the coming months at the Whole Foods store in Westford, Mass., followed by a few additional Whole Foods stores and many Amazon Fresh stores in the United States.

"As many of our customers return to their in-store grocery shopping routines, it's exciting to introduce new and unique ways for them to shop our stores," said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer for Whole Foods Market. "We're thrilled that the newest version of Dash Cart will debut in our Westford store and can't wait to hear the feedback from our customers there."

Other convenient checkout options that the Whole Foods banner has recently adopted from Amazon include Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One.

To use the new version of the Dash Cart, Kumar instructs shoppers to log in through a QR code in the Amazon or Whole Foods Market app, which allows them to sign in and begin using the cart. Shoppers place their bags (if using them) in the cart and start shopping, scanning their items using one of the cameras near the handlebar of the Dash Cart. The cart uses a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to help verify each item placed in — and removed from — the cart.

The Dash Cart’s screen shows a real-time receipt of all items in the cart, and when shoppers are ready to check out, they simply exit the store through the Amazon Dash Cart lane and their payment is processed using the credit card associated with their Amazon account. Shoppers will receive an emailed receipt shortly after leaving the store.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Amazon, which is No. 2 on The PG 100,  Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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