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Business

Panasonic pushes smart-driving solutions in US

Denver has ordered a smart road platform; Tesla ready to collaborate

NATSUKO KATSUKI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

LAS VEGAS, U.S. -- Japan's Panasonic aims to leverage its established technologies in the U.S. market for auto-related products and services.

The Japanese electronics giant is keen to take its sensor, battery and other automobile technologies into the urban development and autonomous driving spaces.

It plans to develop a next-generation transportation system in the U.S. that would use information technology to reduce car accidents and traffic jams. The goal is to commercialize the system by 2022.

It already has an order for a smart transportation system from the city of Denver, Colorado. Panasonic wants to provide a platform that can alert drivers of dangers based on the motion of pedestrians and other cars, and suggest alternative routes when traffic backs up or road conditions worsen.

Panasonic is also seeking to deepen its collaborative ties with Tesla Motors, the U.S. electric carmaker. The two companies have already joined hands to produce the batteries that make the cars go.

Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said potential areas of collaboration include the autonomous car business. Panasonic and Tesla have also agreed to collaborate on solar panels and home-use storage batteries. Tsuga was speaking on Friday in Las Vegas. He was in the Nevada city for the Consumer Electronics Show.

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