It’s like some kind of vending mechanical robot or something!

Japan certainly is a country full of vending machines. In fact, there is said to be one vending machine for every 34 people living here. That’s an amazing number, and yet I’m still left wondering if they could be more convenient somehow. I mean, they all pretty much just sit there and don’t really do anything to actively provide me with cool beverages.

▼ Just look at these shiftless layabouts, hanging out on the street corner all day and night.

Photo ©SoraNews24

Kyocera Communication Systems is now working on filling that small gap with an unmanned vending machine on wheels so to speak. The as yet unnamed machine is about the size of a very small car, 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length, 1.3 meters (4 feet) wide, and up to two meters (6.5 feet) tall.

Without any driver it will cruise a predetermined route on city streets, especially around areas that might need it like public parks or apartment complexes. After getting stocked with hot or cold beverages and temperature sensitive snacks like chocolate and jelly, it will move at about 15 kilometers per hour (9 miles per hour) and sell its goods via the attached touch panel and a smartphone payment system.

With the cooperation of Chiba City and approval by the Kanto Transport Bureau, this little car will putt around the Wakaba 3-Chome district of Chiba, five days a week including weekends, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

▼ A map of the snack car’s route

First it will scoot around the perimeter of the Aeon Style Makuhari Bay Park shopping center, then do a lap around the cigar-shaped Wakaba 3-Chome Park while also swinging by large condominium complexes located on each side of it.

However, since this is a trial run, service times will be irregular and trips will be called off during inclement weather or if the car requires maintenance. Also, even though the vehicle is autonomous, it will be constantly monitored and immediately overridden in the event it is about to have an accident or be hijacked by snack-marauders.

Nevertheless, for the time it’s active, Kyocera’s snack and drink car will certainly bring an added touch of high-tech convenience to an already very convenient country. And yet as I type this in my seventh-floor office I have to wonder: Would it be so hard to make one of these things that can fly?

Source: PR Times
Images: PR Times (unless otherwise noted)
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