Why bother going out for shopping when the shops can literally drive themselves to your doorstep? Behold Moby, the world’s first self-driving supermarket that is bossing the streets of Shanghai as we speak. The idea has been presented by the same people behind the Wheelys bike cafe, and it sure is a sweet one! The Moby store is the result of cooperation between Himalayafy and Hefei University and currently is in beta testing in Shanghai.
While mobile supermarkets are nothing new, Moby’s solar-powered self-driving capabilities make it a unique prospect. The market on wheels is also capable of filtering smoggy air along with using its artificial intelligence to allow drone deliveries 24/7 to its customers.
The customers can check the location of a Moby store via an app, and if the autonomous supermarket is nearby, they can request deliveries via drones or even call the entire store to their doorstep. For now, Moby will be controlled by human drivers or remotely controlled until self-driving vehicles are legalized in the country.
Just like autonomous, cashier free, shopping mall presented by Amazon a few months back, shopping at Moby couldn’t be easier. The customers simply barge in, take what they want, and run along into their homes without standing in lines on a checkout counter. Each store also has 4 drone pads that would cut the need to even step into a store. And Moby’s artificial intelligence algorithms will ensure flawless inventory restocking, as the truck will drive itself to the warehouse to fill up on the supplies as needed.
The Moby Store features a mini pharmacy and a coffee shop and holds first aid devices (like a defibrillator). It also offers an ATM and a holographic store assistant, Hol, that brings a similar feel to a usual visit to a grocery shop. You can also tell Hol if you weren’t able to find something in the store so “he” can get it ready the next time you drop by.
Watch the video below to see the store in action: