Cashierless checkout startup Accel Robotics announced today its autonomous Valet Market will soon open inside the Vantage Pointe high-rise residential building, located in the company’s hometown of San Diego, California.
The 1,500 square foot store is “designed as a shared pantry for the neighborhood,” and will stock locally-sourced items, such as produce, baked goods and dairy, along with typical convenience store fare. Like many cashierless checkout stores, customers need to download a mobile app to check into and shop there. Once inside, shoppers grab what they want and leave, getting charged automatically upon exit.
Accel monitors what shoppers take through a combination of cameras, computer vision and shelf sensors, which is the same approach taken by other autonomous checkout players like Zippin and Amazon Go. The inclusion of shelf sensors in addition to computer vision can help bolster accuracy when keeping track of what shoppers pick up.
The store will be open to the public during the day, but only available to residents after business hours. Additionally, Valet Market will offer “last step” delivery to Vantage Pointe residents, so they won’t even need to leave their apartments.
The launch of Valet Market continues cashierless checkout’s strong momentum on display so far this year. In the first half of 2021 AiFi has partnered with Wundermart to open one thousand autonomous stores, Standard Cognition raised $150 million for its cashierless tech, and startups around the world like Supersmart, Imagr and Nomitri come out of stealth.
But Accel’s launch of the Valet Market could be another indication that cashierless checkout stores will soon be a standard perk for high-end residential communities. We saw this start last year when AWM Smartshelf partnered with Aramark to create the QuickEats Close Convenience located inside the Nineteen01 apartment complex in Santa Ana, California. Having a dedicated cashierless convenience store inside large residential complexes actually makes a lot of sense. It’s super convenient for residents to run to the lobby for last-minute milk than heading out to the supermarket. The cashierless store can be open around the clock, and the building owner doesn’t have to pay for people to work in the store.
In addition to operating its own Valet Market, Accel said it will be announcing partnerships with other U.S. brands including universities, sports venues, military bases and fuel stations. In August of last year, credit card company Mastercard partnered with Accel Robotics to create a cashierless checkout solution for stores and announced it had lined up customers including Circle K, Delaware North and Dunkin’.
We are on the precipice of cashierless checkout becoming mainstream. If you want to see where the whole autonomous store space is headed, then you should definitely attend ArticulATE, our food robotics and automation virtual conference on May 18. We’ll have speakers from both Zippin and Nomitri talking about the technology and opportunities in the sector. Get your ticket today!