Panasonic intends to expand its association with Tesla Motors, the electric car making giant, beyond batteries and into self-driving technology, as the Japanese conglomerate continues to shift its concentration on the automotive business.
The electronics maker has placed automotive applications at the centre of a growth strategy that targets corporate clients at the expense of low-margin consumer goods, where low-cost Asian rivals have diminished the dominance of Japanese firms.
Panasonic is the exclusive supplier of batteries for Tesla’s Model S, Model X and upcoming mass market Model 3, and plans to contribute $1.6 billion to Tesla’s $5 billion battery factory.
“We are deeply interested in Tesla’s self-driving system,” said Chief Executive Officer Kazuhiro Tsuga in an interview. “We are hoping to expand our collaboration by jointly developing devices for that, such as sensors.”
One applicant would be so-called organic photoconductive film CMOS image sensors at present under development at
Panasonic, which enable high-speed sensing of moving objects without distortion, said Tsuga.
Panasonic aims to include such technology to an automotive business that also includes cockpit displays and navigation systems. It targets annual sales of 2 trillion yen ($17.43 billion) for that business in the year through March 2019, from 1.3 trillion yen in the year ended March 2016.
And additionally automotive, Panasonic and Tesla work together in solar energy. The Japanese organization last
month said it plans to invest more than 30 billion yen in a Tesla factory making photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules.
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Sameeksha Bhardwaj, From ITvoir News Desk