lockElectronics and industrial components giant Panasonic is planning to test its autonomous car technology in the state of Colorado, in the US.
The company has been making some significant moves in the automotive space, and this week revealed some of its ideas at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Tom Gebhardt, president of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, made a presentation at CES in which he said the company’s “smart mobility” plan starts with energy.
Panasonic has partnered with Tesla to jointly develop a battery cell which is now just started production at Tesla’s giant Gigafactory.
“Smart mobility will start with energy leadership,” said Gebhardt. “That’s what our partnership with Tesla at the Gigafactory is all about.
“It’s anticipating the energy needs of the future. So for batteries to secure an energy future they could power cars and smarter cities.”
The plan to test its automotive technologies has been in the works for a couple of months. When it was initially agreed in November, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said: “We are thrilled that they [Panasonic] have chosen to partner with Colorado in bringing advanced technologies and strategies for smart transportation and smart cities.
“Not only does that position Colorado as one of the leading states in harnessing the tomorrow’s smart technology today, but it accelerates the benefits of such innovations to the residents and travelers of our state.”
Joseph Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America, said: “Panasonic is using our nearly 40 years of experience in traffic management to help support safer and more efficient driving.
“Our shared vision is of an integrated platform that will provide drivers with the most real-time data possible and enable them to make better decisions when travelling. This joint project with CDOT [Colorado Department of Transport] is a logical extension of Panasonic’s ongoing public-private partnership with the State of Colorado, the city of Denver and Denver International Airport to develop Smart City solutions.”
In a separate but robotics-related development, Panasonic has decided to invest $60 million in developing a laundry-folding robot.
Called “Laundroid”, it is claimed to be the first laundry-folding robot in the world.
Panasonic entered the agreement with Seven Dreamers Laboratories and Daiwa House to develop Laundroid a couple of years ago, and the product is scheduled for launch in March this year.