Nissan's Park-Assist Technology Powers An 'Intelligent Parking Chair' (No, Really)

February 17, 2016

We hear it all the time from doctors, from studies, from friends and complete strangers: Americans are the laziest people on Earth.

But no more. A new invention from Nissan makes it pretty clear that folks in Japan are trying to give us a slothful non-run for our money.

ALSO SEE: Mazda Shows Not All All-Wheel-Drive Systems Are Created Equally

The invention is called the "Intelligent Parking Chair", and as you can see from the video above, it's exactly what it sounds like: a chair that returns to its place at a desk or conference table all by itself. According to Nissan:

"The "Intelligent Parking Chair" is a unique chair that automatically moves to a set position. The chair includes a roller to automatically move 360 degrees paired with a system that indicates the target position. Four cameras placed on the room's ceiling generate a bird's-eye view to wirelessly transmit the chair's position and its route to destination."

It seems to us that Nissan is wearing a coy smile all the way through the demo video. That suggests that Nissan thinks of the "Intelligent Parking Chair" as a marketing stunt to get consumers excited about its car-parking technology, not as a profound innovation in office furniture design.

In a press release, though, Nissan attempts to put on a marginally straight face: "With this innovation in office technology, Japanese businessmen are now freed from the troublesome task of arranging chairs...." 

Because the press release looks awfully official, and because it's not April Fools Day (that we know of), we're inclined to take the company at its word. And that raises a few questions:

  • What do Japanese businessmen find so troublesome about arranging chairs?
  • Do Japanese businessmen not have interns?
  • And most importantly of all: if this technology were to catch on in the U.S., what would that mean for American interns?

We need answers, Nissan. Our country's unpaid interns depend on this kind of thing.

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