Perhaps Panasonic and Tesla will strike a new deal to partner up regarding self-driving technology
Panasonic is looking to shift more and more into the automotive industry. Not only is it partnered with Tesla as its exclusive battery supplier, but now the company has intentions to work toward a self-driving partnership with Tesla. Kazuhiro Tsuga, Panasonic's CEO, shared:
A self-driving Model X with new enhanced hardware was demonstrated by Tesla in October
"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."
Panasonic currently has plans to invest $1.6 billion toward the Tesla Gigafactory. While this is only a portion of the $5 billion project, the Japanese electronics firm continues to up the ante on its involvement in automotive-centered exploits.
All batteries for the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, upcoming Tesla Model 3, Tesla Powerpacks, and Tesla Powerwalls are produced through an exclusive partnership between the two companies. The companies also have a partnership related to solar energy. Panasonic is investing upwards of $300 million into a Tesla factory that is responsible for producing photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules.
Reuters reported that in regards to Panasonic's self-driving interests:
"One candidate would be so-called organic photoconductive film CMOS image sensors currently under development at Panasonic, which enable high-speed sensing of moving objects without distortion."
The company plans to utilize the technology for cabin and dashboard display screens, navigation interfaces, mapping systems, and possibly head up displays, among other potential applications. If Tesla chooses to accept the partnership for future technology, the company will be able to handle even more of its business "in-house."