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Ford Europe built a 'self-braking' shopping cart to reduce grocery-store carnage

No longer will a trip to the store for bananas devolve into the Thunderdome.

Safety first!

Ford

We've all been there. You're strolling through the grocery store, minding your own business, when WHAM -- some distracted scoundrel collides their cart into yours, and the world devolves into madness as you see red and begin a bitter battle to the death. OK, maybe it doesn't always go like that. But Ford's latest concept could bring an end to all this needless (and maybe only imagined) butcher-aisle butchery.

Ford Europe this week unveiled the Self-Braking Trolley, a concept that borrows tech from its passenger cars to, hopefully, eliminate unnecessary grocery bloodshed (or just eliminate awkward situations). The cart is equipped with a sensor that can detect an imminent collision and, if necessary, apply brakes before a bump occurs. The cart is pretty light, being comprised of thin metal tubing and canvas, so it's not like much braking force needs to be applied.

Ford's video envisions the concept -- which, like other Ford Europe concepts in the past, will never actually be a thing -- as preventing errant children from causing havoc in the store. It could also reduce the chances of a loose cart careening across a parking lot and denting your poor bumper.

Automatic emergency braking is slowly gaining some serious traction. It's now standard on a wide variety of vehicles, from affordable to expensive. Soon, it'll be standard on even more vehicles in the US, as about 20 automakers have pledged to make autobrake standard on all their vehicles by Sept. 1, 2022.

Ford Europe is no stranger to adapting car tech for other aspects of domestic life. Previously, the automaker rolled out a noise-canceling kennel to placate your pup when fireworks start popping off. It also built a "lane-keeping bed" that attempts to keep mattress hogs from occupying an entire mattress, relegating a second person to just a sliver of their side of the bed.