Monday, February 3, 2014

No. 831: Developing smart cars stimulates related industries (1/2) (February 2, 2014)

Business trend:
Today, about 1,000 million cars are running on the earth, and people trade information using 1,500 million PCs and 1,800 million smartphones. Automakers naturally ally with IT-related companies to develop smart cars as epitomized by the alliance between Google and leading automakers including GM and Honda. The development of smart cars is now crucial for every automaker in the world. Fujitsu collects and analyzes information, such as location and speed, from 4,000 taxies traveling inside Tokyo. It receives 23 million data every day and combines them with information on weather, traffic, and dangerous points besides information coming from social networking services. Fujitsu’s service allows taxi drivers to know the places from which smartphone users complain how hard it is to get a taxi.

The move to develop smart cars stimulates related industries. Demand for electronic parts vital to smart cars is growing fast. Toshiba plans to mass-produce sophisticated semiconductors for image processing starting last half of this year. Toshiba’s semiconductor can process images of four in-car cameras at the same time, and Toshiba plans to develop even more powerful and sophisticated semiconductors. Panasonic unveiled its information system that allows a car driver to check the instruments and display devices quickly and easily. It is developing a system that allows a car driver to operate such actions as closing the door, turning on and off the air-conditioner, and performing automatic parking using his smartphone. Nidec acquired Honda Elesys with a view to participating in the market by developing a technology for fuel efficiency and better maneuverability with the help of electronic control unit.

Makers of car navigation systems also plan to participate in the market because the spread of smartphone decreases sales of car navigation systems. Pioneer allied with NTT DoCoMo to provide car goods dealers and nonlife insurance companies with driving information based on big data. Clarion developed an automatic parking system in alliance with Hitachi. It will grow more important for every automaker to make their cars more appealing in alliance with IT companies instead of pursuing only such traditional yardsticks as speed and fuel efficiency. 

Fujitsu utilizes big data for safer and more 
convenient traffic systems 

Panasonic participates in the smart car
development competiton

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