As innovation accelerates, it isn’t hard to imagine a world where cars drive themselves – or even fly. But cars that talk and think? You might be shaking your head, but that’s exactly where mobility is headed.
At Panasonic, we're leveraging data gathered from sensors and connected networks of vehicles and infrastructure to make travel safer, faster and more efficient. But for us, autonomy doesn’t just mean safer roads and less traffic. It means more time for the things that matter. Imagine a family sharing an interior cabin with campfire seating – getting in quality time even as they travel.
Because of our decades of experience in both autonomy-enabling and infotainment technologies, Panasonic brings a unique perspective in determining how these disciplines complement each other.
The trend toward complete autonomy – as well as electrification – has provided the opportunity to redefine what is possible in terms of design and execution. Panasonic’s SPACe_C, a conceptual small mobility vehicle, is an illustration of the potential presented by these trends. SPACe_C is designed to closely connect people with products and services, support people’s lives, propose new applications for small mobility vehicles in tourist and urban areas, and revitalize communities.
Navigation systems have become an integral part of the way we drive. Even when we know the route, these systems alert us to traffic congestion and can even offer alternate, quicker routes. They provide accurate information on the trip's remaining time and distance, and they can even keep the driver updated on the speed limit.
Head-up displays seamlessly integrate all of this information into the natural view of the driver. Utilizing the concept of augmented reality, head-up displays can include information projected on to the windshield or the dash, providing the driver not just with critical information but also an eyes-on-the-road benefit.
Automotive innovations are changing the way travelers experience sound in their vehicles. With autonomous technologies, drivers and passengers alike have greater control over what they do – and don't – want to hear, allowing for a more personalized in-car audio experience.
If you've ever noticed how quiet your home gets during a power outage – when appliances such as refrigerator are suddenly powered down – you know how the absence of a regular atmospheric noise can change the way you perceive sound. Similarly, as electric powertrains replace traditional internal combustion engines, other sounds, such as road noise, will become more perceptible. To address these changes, Panasonic is integrating audio innovations into the sound systems of vehicles to help filter out these kinds of unwanted sounds.
At the same time, the drive toward complete autonomy is providing travelers with greater opportunities to enjoy their commute through more immersive audio experiences. Innovations such as zoned audio allow multiple passengers in a shared cabin to customize their audio experience so that they hear the sounds they want and filter out the sounds they don’t – from the music on the stereo to the conversation inside the vehicle to the noise of the road.
As the automotive industry moves toward complete autonomy, we will have to redefine what it means to be in the “driver’s seat.” Cockpit domain controllers allow travelers to determine navigation, audio and connectivity from a single interface by integrating the functionality of computer devices throughout the vehicle.