Tesco Plc, the United Kingdom’s biggest supermarket chain by market share, has partnered with Israeli computer vision and artificial intelligence startup Trigo Vision Ltd. to create cashierless stores using the Israeli company’s system of cameras and software which allow retailers to automatically charge customers, according to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed persons familiar with the matter.
The British multinational grocery and merchandise retailer, with over 6,800 stores worldwide, has been on the hunt for new technologies to continue its growth, the company told analysts and investors.
Cashierless stores are “one thing we’re testing, but it’s not something we’re ready to roll out yet,” a spokeswoman for the company told Bloomberg. She also declined to comment on business partners.
Trigo Vision Ltd., meanwhile, has been working with Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, to bring its tech to Shufersal stores. Trigo Vision already launched a pilot program in one of Shufersal’s Tel Aviv branches.
In September 2018, Trigo Vision CEO and co-founder Michael Gabay told NoCamels the company was also in talks with major European and American stores but did not disclose further details or names.
Trigo’s company’s tech allows grocery retailers to compete with Amazon Go, the world’s first automated supermarket where shoppers pick up items and pay automatically through an app rather than paying a cashier. The first Amazon Go store launched in late 2016 and the retail giant now has 11 locations in four cities with plans to expand to as many as 3,000 stores in the US. The company is also expanding its partnership with the UK’s Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc., Bloomberg reports.
Founded in 2017, Trigo Vision emerged from stealth and raised $7 million in seed funding a year later. While the company competes with Amazon Go’s “sensor fusion” tech, there are notable key differences between the two firms.