Self-driving cars? What about slippers?
Autonomous technology has been promising to revolutionise our roads for the last couple of years, with car companies across the globe in a race to be the first to roll out self-driving vehicles.
But over in Japan Nissan Motor Company Ltd have decided to employ their newly developed technology in a very different way. The automotive giants have kitted out a traditional Japanese inn with their very own self driving…slippers.
Located in the lobby of an inn approximately 50 miles southwest of Tokyo are a line of perfectly parked slippers awaiting guests. Each slipper comes equipped with its own set of wheels and utilises Nissans ProPilot Park technology which allows the footwear to glide across the wooden floor, self-parking back in its original pre-determined position.
In an even more bizarre move the Tatami-matted hotel rooms at the ProPILOT Park Ryokan hotel pop-up also have self-moving floor cushions and traditional low tables – turning a stay at the inn into something reminiscent of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as the room’s furniture appears to move of its own volition in front of guests eyes.
Nissan have claimed that the slippers have been made in a bid “to entertain guests and reduce staff workload” – although it seems more likely that they have been created as part of a PR initiative to market their new Nissan ProPilot Driver Assist semi-autonomous system which is available on their new 2018 Rogue SUV model.
Nick Maxfield, a spokeman for the car company commented: “The self-parking slippers are meant to raise awareness of automated driving technologies, and their potential, non-driving applications.”
The drive assist system from Nissan, whilst not fully autonomous, allows drivers to maintain lane control, offers cruise control which means your car will remain a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front and can negotiate stop and go traffic. This means that whilst you must remain in the driver’s seat at all times, the car does most of the work for you.
Nissan are certainly making big strides in the affordable self-drive market and their fun self-parking slippers only work to create a greater buzz about their new technology.
© Nissan Motor Company