Temperature-controlled cart to appear in stores for grocery pickup

GM's BrightDrop electric cart will appear in Kroger stores for grocery pickup
Credit: General Motors

BrightDrop, the General Motors Co. business focused on delivery and logistics, is introducing the eCart, a new product that will help streamline online grocery order fulfillment, the company says.

BrightDrop is partnering with Kroger, the largest U.S. grocer, to introduce the Trace Grocery eCart this year, the companies said Tuesday.

Trace Grocery, a temperature-controlled cart, allows employees to put orders on it before placing it at the curb for customers to pick up.

The puts BrightDrop in the online grocery market, which is expected to reach $240 billion by 2025.

The eCart is built on BrightDrop's Trace Platform and features:

  • to store items for up to four hours
  • propulsion-assistance to move up to 350 pounds of groceries
  • auto-braking to stop the to match an operator's walking speed up to 3 mph
  • nine compartments to sort items
  • flexibility to maneuver inside and outside of a store
  • weatherproofing to handle various temperatures

BrightDrop and Kroger did an initial pilot program in Lexington and Versailles, Kentucky, and found "a noticeable improvement in the customer and associate experience," the companies said.

In addition to the eCart, BrightDrop has started delivering electric vans. The company says it has more than 25,000 reservations and letters of intent for its electric vans and has delivered more than 100 of them.

Trace Grocery is available in limited quantities. Full-scale availability is expected in 2024.

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