There is always a standard that is loved by users regardless of the era or type of product. Although I don't intend to flaunt my personal preferences, I have a soft spot for novelties and refuse to use any products that do not suit my tastes. This habit tends to determine a standard brand for each product that I use. When I look closely at various pieces of equipment used in my lab at the university or electrical appliances at home, I realize just how many Panasonic products I own.
I have been favoring Let's Note laptops for quite some time, going back to earlier models. I may have gone through more than 10 of them by now. Other such products include digital cameras, TVs, air-conditioners, and rice cookers, amounting to a significant number. Experimental traffic lights installed at the Chiba Experiment Station of the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science in Nishi-Chiba are also Panasonic-made. I believe that Panasonic products are chosen because their novelty and user perspective incorporated in products are well balanced.
I hear that Panasonic, who has been playing an active role in the ITS industry such as with traffic control systems, batteries, and sensors, is finally setting foot in the automated driving system market. They even built a test facility that allows the operation of self-driving vehicles in Yokohama. I visited its test course the other day and thought that, as with Panasonic's former ITS test field located in Hanamaki, it effectively uses the compact space not only to implement test runs but also to conduct V2X and parking tests and trials for linking the system to traffic lights, achieving a good balance of novelty and user perspective. Automakers' test courses are often located in a remote mountain or other secluded areas; however, Panasonic's test course is built adjacent to their research and development site, demonstrating their attitude of valuing a setup that allows the seamless inclusion of user requests.
I believe that automated driving will soon bring about transportation innovations. It is highly likely that the mobility movement to share the use of self-driving vehicles will spread based on conventional models that include manually driven vehicles. I anticipate that this trend will be led by the existing automobile industry, newcomer IT industry, or existing traffic operators. The development of a business ecosystem for automated driving is desired. I look forward to witnessing contributions to such ecosystems by Panasonic who maintains a good balance of novelty and user perspective.