Imagine a world where the grocery store would come to you. Just open up your phone, click on an app, and the closest, automated shop would roll on over to your location, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! That’s exactly what Moby wants to be. The new concept, from the company behind the Wheely’s bike cafe was developed in cooperation with Himalayafy and Hefei University and it’s currently in beta testing in Shanghai.
While it doesn’t really provide you with a full supermarket experience, it does look like it could be a potential late night solution for stoners in need of a snack and residents living in areas that are often referred to as “food deserts.”
The self-driving vehicles are fully stocked with basic pantry staples as well as what looks like an assortment of fresh produce, and even features internal air-filters so it can provide a healthy breathing environment for residents of polluted cities (like Shanghai).
Customers gain access to the store via their app, and also pay automatically via their app when they leave, eliminating any need for check-out counters or cashiers of any kind. The store will automatically track it’s supplies and head back to a warehouse when it is running low on any particular item. The store can even accommodate special orders, which it will stock up on in its next restock and then catch you on its next go-round.
While the grocery model is what’s currently being tested, it’s the hope that Moby will eventually also be used as anything from a mobile pharmacy, to a coffee shop, or even a mobile ATM. As an added bonus, shoppers are greeted by holographic attendants who help keep the experience from feeling too cold.