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Europe’s first automated gas station convenience store

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Article ImageSensei uses computer vision and sensors to track shopper purchases.

Portuguese startup Sensei is unveiling what it bills as Europe’s first automated convenience store at gas stations, entering a growing market for checkout-free shopping.

The computer vision developer has partnered with Portuguese oil and gas company Galp to open the store at one of its gas stations in Lisbon.

The 323-square-foot store offers shoppers a cashier-less checkout experience: After scanning an app they download on their smartphone, they can just take anything in the store and walk out.

AI computer vision through cameras installed in the ceiling and sensors on the shelves will identify items shoppers pick or leave. Autonomous software keeps track of their virtual shopping basket and charges them.

Sensei’s automated convenience store comes as a mobile pod that the gas station owner can set up on site without needing any construction.

Shopper data is gathered as well as real-time tracking of inventory to make restocking of products more efficient.

Galp COO Teresa Abecasis said in a statement that these unmanned pods will enable smaller gas stations in areas with less traffic offer non-fuel goods to customers profitably.

In May 2020, Sensei said it was the first to launch a 1,600-square-foot retail store in Europe with Sonae’s Continente chain.

Sensei is entering an increasingly crowded market for checkout-free shopping, dominated by Amazon Go but with rivals in the U.S., Israel, Asia and Europe.

Amazon Go was the first to open an automated store in the U.K., in Ealing, London.

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