The Vineyard Whole Foods Market store in San Antonio is one of the first three locations in the country to get Amazon Dash Carts, which let customers skip the checkout line altogether. Shoppers first download the Whole Foods Market app and scan a QR code on the cart. The Dash Cart uses a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to help identify items placed in the cart. Customers can simply grab an item, scan it on one of the Dash Cart cameras, and place it in the cart. When ready to check out, customers use a designated Amazon Dash Cart lane which triggers an automated payment using the card tied to the customer’s Amazon account.
Amazon has used Dash Carts at Amazon Fresh locations since 2020. The carts have since been updated to double capacity, new shelves for delicate items and oversized items, weather-resistant features, and extended all-day battery life. “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,” says Leandro Balbinot, Chief Technology Officer for Whole Foods Market, in the 2022 announcement about the carts’ new features. When shopping for items without barcodes the Dash Cart screen will now display images of nearby items, like produce, for shoppers to choose from, or shoppers can type in the item name (“orange,” for example) instead of a four-digit PLU code. Amazon has also improved the carts’ ability to precisely determine where it is in the store to better show nearby products and deals. The enhanced Dash Cart is only available at three Whole Foods Market stores, but customers can expect a broader rollout if the initial test is successful.