Standing in line for the latest iPhone at the Apple store, queueing for tickets to Wimbledon or even just waiting at the post office might just have got a lot easier.
Japanese car-maker Nissan claims to have just the thing to relieve the sore legs of weary queuers.
The new system of ‘self-driving’ chairs is designed to detect when someone at the front of the queue is summoned, and automatically move everyone else one step forward in line.
The new invention is shown off in a company video, which re-enacts a busy restaurant with patrons waiting outside.
Diners are sitting in a row of chairs, but will not have to stand when the next hungry diner is called to a table.
Instead, the chairs, equipped with autonomous technology that detects the seat ahead, glide along a path toward the front of the line.
When the person at the front of the queue is summoned, the empty chair at the front can sense it is empty and so moves out of pole position.
Cameras on the remaining chairs then sense the movement and follow automatically.
The system, which is similar to the kind used in Nissan’s autonomous vehicle technology, will be tested at select restaurants in Japan this year, Nissan said.
‘(It) appeals to anyone who has queued for hours outside a crowded restaurant: it eliminates the tedium and physical strain of standing in line,’ it added.
Although Tokyo has some 160,000 restaurants, long queues are not uncommon.
Chosen restaurants that fill the logistic criteria will be able to showcase the chairs at their venue.
Nissan also released a short clip showing the chairs being used in an art gallery, moving slowly in front of the various paintings to let viewers appreciate the art without the need to stand up.