Nissan Made Self-Parking Slippers for Fun
Several car brands and tech firms are racing to bring self-driving cars to the road, and Nissan is arguably one of the leaders with several pieces of autonomous tech already appearing in production vehicles under the name ProPILOT. Even if you don’t think that Nissan is a technology leader, there’s no question that they are certainly having the most fun. In 2016, the Japanese automaker built two autonomous chairs: one that could “park” itself in an office or conference room, and one that let people sit to wait in line and have the chair move up the queue for them. Now Nissan has gone the extra mile and built the ProPILOT Park Ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn.
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When you enter a ryokan, you remove your street shoes and put on a pair of slippers so you don’t track dirt inside. Select rooms inside the inn have floors covered in fragile tatami flooring that requires you to then take the slippers off and walk barefoot or with socks. These two things mean that there are a lot of times when slippers are waiting patiently to be worn. When you sit down to eat or work, traditional seating in a ryokan includes tables that are low to the ground and use floor cushions instead of chairs. We tell you all of this because someone at Nissan decided that all of these conventionally Japanese features needed a bit of a modern twist to make them even better.
To make sure that shoes are lined up perfectly near the doors and the tables and their cushions are arranged just right, they all have been equipped with the same ProPILOT Park technology Nissan vehicles have outside the US. A guest or member of hotel staff simply has to hit the same parking button featured in the new Nissan Leaf and everything goes where it belongs, just how the full-size cars find a parking spot and pull in. Take a look at the ProPILOT Park system in action in this video provided by Nissan.
Nissan’s ProPILOT Park system was first released on Japanese roads in October of last year with the new Nissan Leaf. It hasn’t made its way to the United States yet, but you can rest assured that Nissan is working hard to bring it here.
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If you are headed to Japan, you can see the self-parking slippers at the Nissan Global Headquarters Gallery in Yokohama. From now to February 10th, you can also tweet using the #PPPRyokan and #wanttostay hashtags to enter for a chance to stay at the ProPILOT Park Ryokan in Hakone for a night. Good luck!