Nissan Motor Co. (NASDAQ: NSANY) is launching an invention that brings humanity closer to the lazy future society imagines: the ProPilot Chair that’s coming with autonomous driving features.
The chair moves by itself and detects the seat ahead and behind to keep a safe distance. ProPilot moves in a predefined lane, much like Wall-E’s white chairs that moved the people around the ship.
The self-ruling chair moves people in long waiting lines because standing up is outdated. When the person ahead of the queue stands up, the empty chair moves to the back and the process starts over.
A public display at Nissan’s global headquarters shows six of the seats operating in a lineup simulation. Anyone can come to the HQ in Yokohama, Japan, to try out the demo.
The solution for people who can’t wait to stand in line
The smart chairs come from the suit of the semi-autonomous driving technology of the Japanese Nissan Serena. The van has the ProPilot technology, a single-lane camera system that follows the car ahead and the car behind and prompts the vehicle to use both steering and braking.
Much like the chair, the ProPilot tech controls the stop & go automatically and stays at a safe distance. Nissan states the point of the seats is to ease the tedium of waiting.
It’s the same user-friendly philosophy in both products: driving through heavy traffic can tire the pilot, but standing an hour to get dinner can be equally annoying. The Serena took off last month and is the only Nissan car with the ProPilot feature.
Nissan is launching the product for Japanese restaurants in 2017
Nissan hopes to get offers from restaurants in Japan interested in offering their customers a seat queue line while they wait. Every local that applies for the smart chair will get the product in 2017.
People may not ever be able to purchase an auto-chair, but Japanese restaurants can demand it by hashtagging “#NissanProPilotChair and #Wanted on Twitter.
The technology is the evolution of the auto-parking chairs
On Nissan’s HQ, most offices enjoy seats that can park themselves back. It means that, when the employee leaves its working station or exits a conference room, the autopilot-chair goes back under the table in an orderly manner.
The Intelligent Parking Chair can also turn 360 degrees and get ready to receive its next human. It moves with the help of four cameras placed in a room.