Unstaffed food and drink stands are usually a more common sight in the Japanese countryside, as local farmers rely on them to provide fresh and affordable produce to local communities using an honor system of sorts. Recently, however, in an effort to lessen food waste, more companies have been turning these unmanned stands into fixtures in cities.

JR East Urban Development will be making the same effort focused on targeting train commuters, with a trial run of the their new AI-powered EKIPICK MART unmanned vending service that will offer boxed lunches, sweets, and other food items.

The vending machines are intended to offer food items outside of businesses hours (particularly those shortened by countermeasures to the pandemic) of restaurants Moto-Yawata Station, in between first and last train, supporting non-face-to-face sales and pickup of products, reducing store operations, and reducing food loss.

EKIPICK MART will offer items from Queen's Isetan grocery store. Powered by Goldenberg's smart retail technology, the AI driven machines will allow quick, easy and cashless purchases using smartphone apps such as PayPay.

Access information about the stand demonstration can be found below.

Location: 2nd floor of Chapeau Motoyawata, near the entrance of JR Motoyawata Station (toward Tokyo Station)

 Period: August 16, 2021 to September 30, 2021

 Sales hours: From the first train to the last train

 Store: Queen's Isetan

By - grape Japan editorial staff.