Piaggio Gita: Self-propelled shopping trolley to encourage walking

Piaggio Gita

Electric cars, bicycles, scooters and skateboards may offer a quieter and cleaner alternative to the internal combustion engine, but does battery technology threaten to make us even lazier than we are already?

Gita means ‘short trip’ in Italian and the name Piaggio has given to its latest project; a smart, self-propelled shopping trolley.

Piaggio Gita

The Gita is an electric cargo vehicle designed to carry up to 18 kg of your shopping or other goods while you walk alongside.

Three hours of charging gives the Gita enough power to travel at walking speed for up to eight hours. A battery of sensors, cameras and mapping technology enables Gita to catch up even if it loses sight of the person it is following while avoiding obstacles along the way.


Car-centric living has allowed the distance we travel to work and shop to increase while consigning walking to a leisure activity. According to Department for Transport surveys, walking levels have fallen by more than a third in three decades.

The success of areas with pedestrian-friendly design has given birth to the concept of walkability –  a measure of the degree to which an area is friendly to walking. Planning has a pivotal role in re-shaping our towns and cities to encourage walking, but as important as improvements to infrastructure is a shift in attitude that sees walking as a lifestyle choice – a conscientious decision to travel a little slower and whole lot healthier.

Ethical insurance

The ETA has been voted the most ethical insurance company in Britain for the second year running by the Good Shopping Guide.

Beating household-name insurance companies such as John Lewis and the Co-op, the ETA earned an ethical company index score of 89.

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Twenty six years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance, travel insurance and breakdown cover while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

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  1. Tony Williams


    “Car-centric living has allowed the distance we travel to work and shop to increase while consigning walking to a leisure activity.”

    In 1865 Henry Mayhew wrote an account of travelling on the Metropolitan Railway (then two years old). One labourer from Notting Hill told him he would have had to walk six miles to and from work each day if the railway hadn’t been built. Another traveller complained that he was paying the same rent in Paddington as he’d previously paid in Clerkenwell, and saw no advantage in having to pay a shilling in fares every week to get to work from further away. A third passenger said “But just think what these trains save you at night after your work’s over. If a man gets home tired he is inclined to be quarrelsome with his missus and children and ends in going off to the pub; while if he gets a ride home, and has a good rest I can tell you he’s as pleasant a fellow again over his supper.”

    So although the car is currently cast in the role of villain, maybe the real issue is mechanically-assisted transport and the wider range of choices it allows us.

  2. Tony Williams


    Actually it’s not just mechanically-assisted transport. If I owned a horse 150 years ago and most people didn’t, I might well have used it to get to work and to visit the supermarket (!!) and risked my legs atrophying.

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