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Nissan Just Invented a Self-Parking Chair

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Nissan "Intelligent Parking Chair"

Before anyone asks, no, that headline is not a joke. When I saw the press release from Nissan announcing the Intelligent Parking Chair, I quickly checked my calendar to make sure that it was not April Fools’ Day. Since that tricky holiday is more than a month away, it seems as if this new chair that pushes itself under a desk or table is an actual device engineered by the automaker’s team.

It’s no secret that Nissan is working on autonomous driving technology. In fact, the automaker seems to talk about the project every opportunity it gets. Current Nissan models in Europe can be equipped with Intelligent Parking Assist, an application of autonomous driving that allows a Nissan vehicle to park itself. According to the video that accompanied the press release, the self-scooting chairs were designed to highlight the original parking technology in a more accessible form.

Confused Bowie

The system uses four cameras in the office space or conference room to watch the chairs and help guide them to their rightful place, and the roller on the bottom of the Intelligent Parking Chair can move 360 degrees for precise maneuverability in tight spaces. To prompt the chairs to park themselves, all an office worker has to do is clap their hands. Like magic, the chairs roll back where they belong and the space looks more tidy. Nissan says “With this innovation in office technology, Japanese businessmen are now freed from the troublesome task of arranging chairs.” That statement then raises the question if I, as an American businesswoman, should feel more bothered by the simple task of pushing my chair in when I stand up.

Doctor Who Wizard
To be fair, the Intelligent Parking Chair looks like a well-engineered piece of office equipment, and it is successful in that it has made everyone look up Intelligent Park Assist while wondering where in the world the idea for this project came from. I’m just worried about how much time a team of highly-intelligent engineers spent working on this project to solve a problem that doesn’t really seem to exist. Hopefully someone takes the Nissan team outside of their lab for a nice breath of fresh air soon.