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Ford's self-braking shopping cart will stop your little ones ramming strangers' shins

Ford shopping cart
Image credit: Ford

Ford has created a shopping cart with automatic braking to stop kids ramming it into shelves, signs, and other customers.

You were probably guilty of doing it yourself – getting a good run-up, then leaning on the handle of the cart and coasting along like a supermarket superhero. Great fun, until you collide with an elderly shopper or a stack of cereal boxes you were too short to see.

The futuristic looking self-braking cart is fitted with sensors to detect obstacles, and automatically slows down to avoid hitting shoppers and shelves.

Safer shopping

The cart is the latest in a series of concept designs that pluck Ford's driving aids from its cars and put them to use elsewhere. Past projects have included the lane-keeping bed, which detects when your partner has strayed onto your side and shifts them back, and the noise-canceling kennel, which blocks out loud noises like fireworks that could alarm your pet pooch.

In this case, the design is inspired by Ford's Pre-Collison Assist technology, which is available in most models and uses a forward-facing camera and radar to detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists in the road. When a person is detected, the system warns the driver and applies the brakes automatically if they don't respond in time.

The cart is only a concept for now, so it won't be appearing in stores just yet, but it's interesting to see other ways in-car tech could be used to solve problems away from the streets.