Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

By Kaitlin Mulhere
September 13, 2016
Jae C. Hong—AP

Walmart shoppers may soon be able to hail a self-driving shopping cart much like they’d hail a taxi with their smartphone.

The mega-retailer has filed a patent for a cart that has a motor and video cameras, describing a cart that will drive itself to customers and even help them track down items in the store.

CNN Money reports that the patent filing also says the system will be able to identify unattended carts in the parking lot and return them to a docking station, potentially saving you the headache of hunting down a prime parking spot only to find that some careless shopper left their cart in the middle of it. (Or if you’re more of a glass half-empty person, this further demonstrates all the ways robots will take our jobs—by eliminating the need for an employee to collect carts in the parking lot.)

Walmart’s confirms what onlookers have suspected since June, when Five Elements Robotics announced at the Bloomberg Technology Conference that it was working with Walmart to design robotic shopping carts that would help shoppers find items on their list and automatically drive through the store and parking lot. Bloomberg reported described it as an opportunity for “brick-and-mortar stores look for innovative ways to match the convenience of Amazon.com Inc.”

Walmart hasn’t commented on its robotic scheme, but this isn’t the only way the retailer is experimenting with technology. The company has implemented technology for customers inside stores to scan and purchase items on their mobile phone to avoid the check out line. Last year, Walmart also announced it wanted to use drones for delivery and warehouse operations, in much the same way as has started using robots and drones.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST