It’s funny because the other day, I actually misplaced my slippers. Every Michigander needs a good pair of slippers, and this time of year, such things are worth their weight in gold. I tore my place apart and found them hiding under the ironing board, under a pile of my gym clothes. I’m normally a clean person but it has been a busy week. Anyway, I saw this recent story from Nissan and concluded that if I had self-parking slippers, I would never lose them again.
Self-parking slippers? Yep. They exist. And it goes farther. Self-parking tables and floor cushions are being utilized at one Japanese inn to promote hospitality among the guests. Initially, the ProPILOT Park Ryokan in Hakone, Japan looks like any other traditional Japanese inn, or ryokan. Upon entering the room, the slippers are neatly lined up at the foyer, where guests remove their shoes. Tatami rooms are furnished with low tables and floor cushions for sitting in accordance with Japanese custom.
Although this is no ordinary ryokan as the slippers, tables, and cushions are outfitted with a special version of Nissan’s ProPILOT Park autonomous technology. When not in use, the amenities automatically return to their designated spots at the push of a button. Modern science for the win. And the last hotel I stayed at had like 20 floors and only two working ice machines. Two. The front desk was like “yeah, about that . . . ”
How It Works
ProPILOT Park debuted on the Nissan Leaf in October 2017. The technology helps drivers park in tight spaces or on congested streets by detecting objects that may be in the way. Nissan’s system can recognize the type of parking space and guide the car accordingly, be it front-end, back-in, or parallel parking. ProPILOT Park operates the steering wheel automatically when parking and can stop if any hazards are detected.
In this particular case, if your slippers are on a collision course with the family cat.
Nissan sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti, and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2016, the company moved 5.63 million vehicles globally, generating revenues of 11.72 trillion yen. In fiscal year 2017, Nissan embarked on the “M.O.V.E. to 2022” initiative, a six-year plan targeting a 30 percent increase in annualized revenues to 16.5 trillion yen. While we here at Automoblog are a much smaller entity than Nissan, our advice to them, to help hit these targets, is to mass-produce these self-parking slippers. We would buy a pair!
Nissan will offer a free night at the ProPILOT Park Ryokan, located in Hakone, Japan, for one lucky pair of travelers. Contestants must post on Twitter using the hashtags #PPPRyokan and #wanttostay from now until February 10th. Good luck! The video below shows the slippers in action.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.