Self-driving cars are the future of the automotive industry. The thing is, even if your technology is really safe, you still need to convince consumers of that.
That’s why Nissan tried to ease people into the technology by building something similar on a smaller scale. They want you to have self-driving slippers.
The company developed a set of slippers with its ProPilot semi-autonomous driving technology, and put them into action at a traditional Japanese inn. Located in Hakone near Tokyo, these slippers drive and park themselves at the inn’s entrance at the push of a button, much to the delight of holidayers.
Each slipper has two tiny wheels on the bottom, a motor, and sensors to let it navigate across the inn’s floor, weaving through tables, cushions and guests. But not content with just that, Nissan also put the technology into the inn’s tables and pillows as well, so you can watch the place’s furniture creep around on its own like some sort of weird parody of a ghost haunting.
Images courtesy: Nissan
In a press release, Nissan says it wanted to “entertain guests and reduce staff workload,” but it’s clearly also a promotion for the Nissan Leaf, a fully-electric, semi-autonomous vehicle the company launched lat last year. “The self-parking slippers are meant to raise awareness of automated driving technologies, and their potential, non-driving applications,” a Nissan spokesman told Reuters.
ProPilot is currently only capable of helping keep a driver in their lane or taking over cruise control on highways, but the plan for Nissan is to eventually make all its cars completely autonomous.
In the meantime, something like this would at least make sure you’d never have get up from the sofa to pick up the TV remote ever again.