Initiatives for SDGs Automotive Company

(This article is as of June 2020)

Photo: Yuki Kusumi, CEO, Automotive Company, Panasonic Corporation / Title: Partnering with automakers for safer, greener mobility

The Automotive Company has a wide array of business in the automobile industry, including in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), mirrors, and automotive electrification systems, such as automotive batteries. Our devices and solutions are engineered to enhance safety and comfort during travel and reduce driver burden and environmental impacts. Through the realization of safe and environmentally sustainable mobility in partnership with automakers, we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Safety and environment in the age of CASE

The automotive industry is going through a once-in-a-century revolution symbolized by the acronym CASE: Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric. Each theme is directly relevant to the creation of a safe and green automotive future. We, too, are part of this revolution through the devices and solutions we deliver to automakers. We have a long track record of enhancing vehicle safety and environmental performance with our products, particularly cameras and sensors. We began marketing our cameras ahead of the industry more than 30 years ago as well as nickel-hydrogen batteries more than 20 years ago.

Going forward, we will contribute to creating safer cars through the provision of IVI systems, head-up displays (HUD), and other ADAS that display information necessary for safe driving. Panasonic’s strength lies in our cameras and sonar devices, which we will use to focus on improving sensing algorithm technologies to increase detection and recognition accuracy and also develop a 360-degree surround-view monitoring feature for ADAS.

To reduce environmental impacts, we will undertake the development of new products that draw on Panasonic’s technological assets, such as on-board chargers and inverter-integrated compressors for plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Figure Title: Contributing to car safety and security as well as reducing environmental impacts. Introducing the two main points. Safety and Security aims for zero traffic accidents by strengthening the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) development using sensing devices and image processing technologies. Showing photos of HUD display examples, Autonomous parking assist system, IVI systems, cameras, and sensors. ADAS: Advanced Driver Assistance System, HUD: Head-Up Display, IVI: In-Vehicle Infotainment. Reducing Environmental Impacts aims for zero emissions by expanding environment-related businesses leveraging years of automotive batteries' performance and power electronics technologies. As example, photos of inverter-integrated compressors, on-board charging systems, and lithium-ion batteries for xEV are shown.

Partnering to grow and accelerate our contribution

In April 2020, we joined Toyota Motor Corporation in launching Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc., a joint venture specializing in automotive prismatic batteries. Because batteries are a core EV component, the company adopts an integrated approach to battery development as well as vehicle design and development. It will accelerate automotive electrification by combining the expertise Panasonic has cultivated in developing safe, high-performance batteries together with Toyota's renowned manufacturing prowess built upon its superior production method. Batteries produced by the joint venture are also being delivered to automakers besides Toyota to contribute to EV popularization and to scale adoption of the batteries even further.

The joint venture is also developing solid-state batteries, which hold promise as a next-generation technology, with the aim of commercializing them ahead of our competitors. By partnering with Toyota, we hope to make batteries available even sooner for safer, higher-performing EVs and thus contribute to society.

Toward a future when sustainable mobility is the norm

Photo: A shot of Yuki Kusumi, CEO, Automotive Company, speaking.

Europe, the US, China and Japan are all moving toward stricter crash safety and exhaust gas regulations and policies that incentivize vehicles with advanced safety features and smaller environmental footprints. Given such global trends toward safety and electrification, we will continue to collaborate with automakers and partner manufacturers to refine the technologies that help make automobiles safe and eco-friendly. Through the activities that we mentioned, we will contribute to SDGs.