Photo: PR Times
tech

Autonomous beverage and snack car now testing in Chiba

25 Comments
By SoraNews24

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.

Kyocera Communication Systems is now working on 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 in length, 1.3 meters wide, and up to two meters tall.

Screen-Shot-2022-07-31-at-10.21.30.png
Photo: PR Times

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 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.

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.

Source: PR Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Some of Japan’s most iconic vending machines will soon be no more

-- Half of 7-Elevens in Japan to start selling 100-yen Daiso products this month

-- How well do you know your Japanese vending machines?【Quiz】

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
Login to comment

reminiscent of conbini lately, whereby one has to 'engage' with the screen-machine, making purchasing anything very labour-intensive for the customer.... while staff stand by watching and giving instructions..... no wonder goods are so expensive! seems inefficient to me.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

reminiscent of conbini lately, whereby one has to 'engage' with the screen-machine, making purchasing anything very labour-intensive for the customer.... while staff stand by watching and giving instructions..... no wonder goods are so expensive! seems inefficient to me.

You clearly know nothing about working at convenience stores.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Great, now lets talk prices and variety!?

a 2 or 3% more is acceptable, any more No No, will it have a trash can??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If they get rid of the wheels, make these things stationary and a little smaller, and put them in high foot traffic areas like train stations and such, they just might catch on.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Cool!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

We had a vending machine in school,the more we pull the more candy ,we got

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

it will move at about 15 kilometers per hour

So does it stop at various pre-determined sales points? Do you flag it down? Run after it waving your phone?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

An article recently discussed difficulties people living in depopulated areas have shopping. Something like this stocked with appropriate items might help.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The most impressive thing about this is the law-abiding society that makes it possible. How long would this little car survive on the streets of your home country? Would it even be tried?

3 ( +10 / -7 )

How long would this little car survive on the streets of your home country? 

For ever, nobody would give a s… about it. What people would say though is what an awful dehumanization this peace of junk is. Japan already a cold society is going a strange path of trying to automate everything, also pushed by a ridiculous hygienist sentiment, where it does not need to be and where human interaction is in fact needed. Buying something is not just a money transaction, it’s a human interaction.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Interesting, but does it really need disc brakes on all four corners?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let's give it a try and see

2 ( +2 / -0 )

HansToday  08:41 am JST

reminiscent of conbini lately, whereby one has to 'engage' with the screen-machine, making purchasing anything very labour-intensive for the customer.... while staff stand by watching and giving instructions..... no wonder goods are so expensive! seems inefficient to me.

You clearly know nothing about working at convenience stores.

nor did I comment on working 'at' convenience stores, and though I've done a lot of crap jobs in my life, I'm content that working in a convenience store wasn't among them..... if you'd care to expound on that experience, I'll certainly read what you write....

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The country least in need of an autonomous beverage and snack car.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So its a moving vending machine. Now imagine a moving conbini lol ;D

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Looks like fun :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes, a funny test balloon, why not. The idea or concept is not so bad, but if it is practicable at a higher numerous scale, one might have doubts, economically and environmentally. Maybe it should be developed further into a full service concept, also bringing things from a shopping list, lunches, post packages and also taking things into it, mail, small repair orders, returned goods etc on its way back home for battery reloading. That might be a way to bring some lifelines back into low population areas or where’s a staff shortage or the next convenience store too far away for elderly or disabled people. In other words, still much left to think about and for improvement and profitability in operating.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm sure this thing will be like most of the conbini and have the same basic stuff and most of the drinks won't even be cold. It'll be the usual - more style than substance. I really miss the bodegas and liquor stores in the NYC area.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Two things that surprised me on my many visits to Tokyo before the pandemic were the amount of vending machines that are available and the lack of litter on your streets. The lack of litter is particularly amazing to me as there are obviously no litter bins to deposit trash in on your streets. The Japanese ethic of always being orderly and tidy is one of the things I always admired. Something us Brits do not have in city areas which are always untidy. I would give this machine about 5 minutes on a UK street before someone decided that they di not wish to pay for the goods!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

would give this machine about 5 minutes on a UK street before someone…

Yes, but still a very optimistic estimation. lol

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can for-see some Kids taking advantage of this, in a very old "Hit & Run" scam... i.e. "Pay for 1, and totally cleanout the rest". Facial recognition payment, would perhaps be better, but then it'd have to distinguish between a Photo and a real person's face... Game-on...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once I encountered a talking vending machine, greeting you with a very funny voice. Such details are important and one now expects this kind of innovative nuances in all big cities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"this little car will putt around"

Amazingly it can also play golf.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I, for one, am glad for this.

Because without it, all you lot might run out of things to complain about.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why did you use "Putt Around"? (Technical term of Golf)

The editor would like to use "Putter Around" but typo is "Putt Around" ??????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites