In case you already thought Japan had enough vending machines, the country is trialling its first self-driving food and drinks dispenser.
Forever looking for convenience
Japan is already renowned for being the country with the most vending machines in the world, but recently it has decided to start trialling a new service that delivers their convenience … well, more conveniently.
Utilising ever progressing self-driving technology, Japanese firm ‘Kyocera’ has developed a vehicle that resembles a small ice-cream truck. Upon arrival, customers can view what is on offer through the transparent panel. They can then order and pay for products using a touch screen; this will unlock the panel containing the items that were ordered.
It’s all relatively simple stuff but highlights how self-driving technology can be useful.
The current project works by allocating the vehicle a predetermined route which it will follow accordingly. It will use public roads to get to and from its destination, but will then switch to mounting footpaths and crossing public areas to reach its allocated spot.
If you decide to spend the day at a public park, beach front, or just an area away from shops, this little machine can arrive to save the day when you’re in need of some refreshments — without needing to vacate the area.
It’s currently being trialled in the city of Chiba which is in the greater Tokyo area. If it’s successful, it could mean that the number of vending machines rises even further. To put it into context Japan currently has around 4 million which is more than the population of many countries such as Jamaica, Uruguay, and Qatar.