5 facts on: Nissan Launches Robotic Chairs to Beat Lines in Japan - Dispatch Weekly

September 28, 2016 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Nissan has launched the ProPilot chair, a robotic chair for waiting customers at restaurants, using self-driving technology that can detect the seat in front, returning to the front of the line.

#1 Uses Similar Technology to Nissan Serena Minivan

The ProPilot uses similar technology to Nissan Serena Minivan by keeping the car stay in the middle lane at a safe distance from the vehicle in front. The two functions are, “assisting with the most tiring and repetitive aspects of driving in heavy highway traffic.”

Photo Credit: Nissan
Photo Credit: Nissan

#2 Chairs Will Get Real-World Testing

Nissan stated that the ProPilot chairs will get plenty of real-world testing outside restaurants across Japan this year between now and 27 December. Business owners are encourages to tweet a request to apply to use the chairs. In 2017, the chairs will then be featured at a few restaurants in the Nissan Global HQ in Yokohama.

#3 Appeals to Tired Customers Waiting in Line

Nissan said the key audience is “anyone who has ever spent hours standing in line,” adding, it “automatically queues on behalf of the occupant, sparing them the hassle of standing in line.”

Photo Credit: Nissan
Photo Credit: Nissan

#4 Autonomous Car Industry Worth $42 Billion by 2025

Nissan is making progress on self-driving technology, applying robots for food delivery, with Just Eat, allowing automated transport without human drivers. The autonomous car industry is estimated to be worth $42 billion by 2025, according to Boston Consulting Group, 2015. A number of companies are working on driverless cars, including: Apple, Audi and Ford.

#5 Future Applications

If the ProPilot chair proves successful, direct applications could be put in place in: museums, cinemas, outside toilets and any place where lines occur. This will have a positive impact on those with circulation or weight problems. However, there may be an issue of space, costa and the expenditure it will take for people to oversee the ProPilot chair.

Would you enjoy sitting in a ProPilot chair whilst waiting in line for a restaurant or is it a step too far?

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.