WATCH: High-Tech Self-Driving Grocery Store Opens in Shanghai

By Zaruf Ezhan, June 19, 2017

1 0

"We're running out of milk, can you buy some from Moby?"

This could become the every day question inside every household in the near future. And no, this Moby is not a grocery store owner who moonlights as a bald, bespectacled, chart-topping DJ and producer.

Moby is the new self-driving grocery store by Wheelys, the Swedish startup that gave us the portable coffee stand on a bike. They've partnered with Hefei University and retail company Himalafy and are currently testing the high-tech store prototype in Shanghai.

Marketed using words like 'no-lines, no-cash' and 'open 24/7', Moby Mart works autonomously with the ability to be located or summoned via an app. Like a regular convenient store, shoppers can purchase basic foods like snacks, fruits, over-the-counter meds and magazines. The store doors open by scanning your phone, and after you check out. Moby can re-stock on its own by driving itself to a warehouse or via delivery by drones within a three-mile radius, and the solar panels at the top powers the mart.

READ MORE: Fleet of Driverless Cars For Tourists Coming to Shanghai Park

See it in this promotional video for Moby Mart below (VPN on):


Okay. Ignore the fact that the filmmakers behind this video watched Tron: Legacy one too many times. We bet you have more questions about Moby Mart now than you did a minute and 42 seconds ago. Here are some of our own enquiries:

1. Can a shop the size of a bus with the speed of a turtle be more convenient than a regular convenient store (usually open 24 hours) or online shopping (no cash, no lines)?
2. Are those glass walls strong enough to keep robbers from having a field day?
3. What if you check out one item, but you actually play Supermarket Sweep?
4. Will you be trapped in Moby until you make a purchase?
5. Why was the person in the video alone in a disconcertingly dark place?
6. Are holograms still a thing?

The Moby Mart is very much in beta stage, and currently some dude still drives it to a warehouse for stock refill. So, at this point it's difficult to know what's real and what's just marketing hoo-ha in that vid, but for a more realistic view of the Moby Mart in action, see this less impressive footage (VPN On:)


[Cover image via Moby Mart]

more news

China's 10 Most Futuristic Robots of 2016

Wall-E ain't got nothin' on these guys.

Popular Chinese Grocery App Launches English Version

Grocery shopping just got easier (read: lazier) with the launch of YiHaoDian’s English app.

Baidu's Kaiser Kuo on China's Tech Scene in 2015

Long-term Beijing resident, co-host of the Sinica podcast and all-round China tech connoisseur, Kaiser Kuo sums up the year in a collection of pleasing soundbites.

China's 6 Biggest Moments in Tech in 2015

The year's six biggest updates (and downgrades).

WATCH: 'Invisible Man' Liu Bolin on New Technology Exhibit

We chat with legendary artist Liu Bolin about his new technology-themed art exhibit in Shanghai.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.