Autonomous self-drive technology can be applied in some unusual ways. Nissan Motor Company has developed self-driving slippers, tables and floor cushions…
“Combining the ultimate in traditional hospitality with Nissan’s autonomous driving technology, ” the Japanese vehicle manufacturer is treating guests in a hotel, or ryokan, that has been dubbed the ProPILOT Park Ryokan to this unusual use of tech. The ryokan is situated in the resort town of Hakone, around 75 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, with views of Mount Fuji.
Slippers are neatly lined up at the foyer, where guests remove their shoes. Each slipper is equipped with two tiny wheels, sensors and a motor to ‘drive’ across the wooden lobby floor using Nissan’s ProPilot Park technology. Tatami rooms are furnished with low tables and floor cushions for sitting. When these items are not in use, they automatically return to their designated spots at the push of a button.
“The self-parking slippers are meant to raise awareness of automated driving technologies, and their potential, non-driving applications,” said Nissan spokesman Nick Maxfield said.
First introduced in the all-new Nissan LEAF in Japan in October 2017, Propilot Park detects surrounding objects and lets drivers automatically park the vehicle in a selected parking space by pressing a button. The same technology is being used at the ProPILOT Park Ryokan during a demonstration period.
Visitors to the Nissan Global Headquarters Gallery in Yokohama can also try on the actual self-parking slippers at a dedicated exhibition booth, open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from 1-4 February.