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Panasonic proposes next-gen transport with self-driving cars

Low-speed electric vehicles will take seniors shopping

A Panasonic mock-up of an automated car. The company has been testing self-driving tech in Japan for low-speed local transport applications.
A Panasonic mock-up of an automated car. The company has been testing self-driving tech in Japan for low-speed local transport applications.   © Reuters

OSAKA -- Panasonic aims to offer various services with autonomous electric cars, including ferrying elderly people in depopulated areas, teaming with startups to dive into next-generation transport services as consumers shift toward using vehicles rather than owning them.

The Japanese electronics company hopes to enter the realm known as "mobility as a service" with low-speed vehicles by 2030, drawing on its experience making batteries for U.S. electric-vehicle maker Tesla. It will independently develop a platform as a basis for vehicles that can carry passengers or cargo, and team up with electric-car startups to develop and produce body components.

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