Panasonic Aims to Extend Partnership with Tesla

FILE PHOTO: A Panasonic Corp's lithium-ion battery, which is part of Tesla Motor Inc's Model S and Model X battery packs, is pictured with the Tesla Motors logo during a photo opportunity at the Panasonic Center in Tokyo, Japan, November 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

Japanese company Panasonic Corp seeks to expand its current partnership with Tesla, for whom it currently supplies electric vehicle batteries, to collaborating on developing sensors for self-driving cars.

According to Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga, 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.”

One technology that might become part of this potential partnership are CMOS image sensors, new versions of which are currently under development at Panasonic. Such sensors can detect high speed moving objects without distortion, and feature both a wider incident angle and wider dynamic range than competing sensors. Other technologies Panasonic might seek to add to the automotive business include cockpit displays and navigation systems.


Aside from cooperating more on car technologies, Panasonic also plans to invest over $256 million in a Tesla plant that makes solar cells.