The Japanese conglomerate believes its latest CMOS image sensors could be perfect for autonomous vehicles.
Panasonic is reportedly pushing to broaden its partnership with Tesla Motors as the Japanese conglomerate attempts to dive deeper into the automotive industry.
Both companies already have a multi-billion-dollar partnership in the Gigafactory battery plant. A more recent deal will allow Panasonic to build solar cells at SolarCity's Buffalo factory.
"We are deeply interested in Tesla's self-driving system," CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga told Reuters. "We are hoping to expand our collaboration by jointly developing devices for that, such as sensors."
The company is said to view its new CMOS image sensors as particularly well suited to automobiles. The organic photoconductive film sensors are said to offer a much higher dynamic range, while a global shutter helps eliminate distortion when viewing fast-moving objects.
"This technology enables to capture high speed moving object up to 10 times brighter scene in global shutter mode," Panasonic wrote in a press release last year. "In addition, fine motion sensing is realized by variable shutter sensitivity control in various scenes."
The first fatal accident involving Tesla's Autopilot system was blamed in part on a failure of the camera system and processing software to recognize a white semi-trailer against a bright sky. The latest Model S and Model X ship with a much more sophisticated sensor suite, including multiple cameras. Any automaker working on autonomous technology is presumably following advancements in image sensors to further refine their machine vision systems and improve performance.