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Surprising Science

These Japanese Self-Driving Chairs Will Eliminate Lines

Japanese car maker introduces self-driving chairs to eliminate lines.

Too tired to stand in a restaurant line? The size of the theater queue got you down? Does visiting a large art museum feel like running a marathon? The Japanese car maker Nissan created a solution for just such everyday problems.

Adapting their ProPilot autonomous vehicle technology, Nissan designed “self-driving” chairs that can detect when someone in front of you in the queue has moved on and will advance all the chairs automatically forward in line. The chairs are equipped with cameras that can sense movement.

The idea is to start testing this system in restaurants and see where it goes from there. As Tokyo has 160,000 restaurants, the market for this invention seems quite robust. Chosen restaurants will have the chairs in 2017.

‘(It) appeals to anyone who has queued for hours outside a crowded restaurant: it eliminates the tedium and physical strain of standing in line,’ said Nissan.

Ready to judge the idea for yourself? Check out this video demonstration:

The idea for the chairs is actually quite similar to a Nissan demonstration earlier in 2016 of self-parking office chairs. Those Intelligent Parking Chairs‘ have wifi-enabled cameras, can make 360 turns, find the target position of where they’d like to park and then get themselves there.

The “intelligent” chairs have motors and batteries that power them. Just a simple clap can get them to go back to their initial positions. No need for to tire out a human assistant.

In a great quote from Nissan, they declared:

‘By day, these chairs are inanimate objects. By night, they park!’

Check them out:


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