The auto industry is heading towards the next generation and manufacturers that produce parts for cars are also jumping on board. Panasonic has recently strengthened its ties with Tesla as the consumer electronics giant is betting big on a future with auto tech.
Tesla and Panasonic are already working together on the batteries that power Tesla’s vehicles. With the rise of electric vehicles on the horizon, Panasonic’s partnership with Tesla gives it a huge in potential profits, especially as Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 nears its production start date.
The partnership between Tesla and Panasonic goes way to 2007 when Panasonic began working with Tesla on the ultra-low volume Roadster. Since then, Panasonic has shown to be a strong supporter of Tesla, even making a $30 million investment in 2010 to develop lithium-ion batteries for the then upcoming Model S.
Now Panasonic looks to expand beyond simply providing batteries as autonomous vehicles become more and more of a reality. At CES this last January, Panasonic offered a look at their design for an autonomous vehicle cabin. Some features that we can see are an augmented reality heads up display that is meant to replace a traditional instrument cluster and many fo the vehicle’s physical controls.
The demo does not explicitly state which car this cabin is for, but many have speculated that it was a preview for the Model 3’s user interface. This rumor was later strengthened by Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga’s statement:
“We are deeply interested in Tesla’s self-driving system. We are hoping to expand our collaboration by jointly developing devices for that, such as sensors.”
SOURCE | Evannex