Inside a guest room at the Japanese inn Ichinoyu Honkan Ryokan in the Hakone hot spring resort area; ryokan staff move slippers, tables and floor cushions back to their designated positions with the push of a button on the wall.
Slippers are neatly lined up in the foyer of a guest room in a traditional Japanese inn, where guests change their shoes into slippers. The guest room usually has Tatami flooring, a low table and floor cushions to sit on. Before bed time, a ryokan staff comes in and makes the bed for the guest. This is usually done by pushing aside the table and cushions to make way for the futon bedding.
Apart from reducing the workload of ryokan staff, the new system shows Nissan Motor’s ProPilot Park autonomous driving technology. Nissan introduced the self-parking technology in its LEAF model in October 2017. The system detects the presence of surrounding objects and allows drivers to automatically park the car in a selected parking space by pressing a button.
This is not the first time Nissan has used its self-parking technology on furniture. In February 2016, Nissan announced that its first Intelligent Parking Chair, inspired by the Intelligent Park Assist Technology, would be used in its European model X-Trail Hybrid and other Nissan vehicles globally. Equipped with a roller that can move 360 degrees, the chair automatically returns to a predetermined position. The wireless system makes use of four sensors installed on the ceilings to detect the position of the chairs and send signals to the system.