Think of any household object and Nissan could probably make is self-park.
Before vehicles become completely autonomous, manufacturers are rolling out driver assistance features that help us stay in lane while driving, avoid accidents, and park. Nissan’s autonomous driving tech is marketed under the banner ProPilot, but the tech doesn’t have to be limited to vehicles.
In what is clearly a clever marketing campaign, Nissan decided to embed its vehicle self-parking system, called ProPilot Park, in other everyday objects. The end result is ProPilot Park Ryokan, which is a traditional Japanese inn, but many of the objects inside have been modified to include the self-parking tech.
Visitors to the inn will witness pairs of slippers neatly moving back into place ready for guests to put them on, floor cushions will move back to their designated position next to a table if moved, and even the TV remote will autonomously “park” itself where guests can easily see it.
As IEEE Spectrum reports, the ProPilot Park Ryokan is real and located in Hakone, Japan. Nissan is actually offering two travelers a free night’s stay there if the thought of everyday objects moving around by themselves doesn’t freak you out.
While this is a marketing stunt, it does also showcase a possible future. We already use autonomous robot vacuums to keep our floors clean and increasingly we are talking to smart speakers which then do our bidding. So why not a future where when you go out your home gets put in order automatically? Zero clean up and never losing the TV remote again is going to be very appealing for some.
Of course, intelligent slippers are likely going to cost quite a bit more than the standard dumb ones we all wear today. But as with all tech, prices fall quickly. Maybe by the time Walmart has us shopping wearing VR headsets we’ll all be living surround by self-organizing objects.