Panasonic to Partner with Colorado Department of Transportation to Build Connected Transportation Future

Joint program targets I-70 Mountain Corridor to Optimize Driver Safety, Roadway Efficiency

Panasonic, a global leader in smart and sustainable automotive and infrastructure technology solutions, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced a partnership to build a connected transportation program in which real-time data would be shared across vehicles, infrastructure, and people to improve safety and mobility on the road.

A trailblazer in building connected transport and developing smart cities in Japan, Panasonic will for the first time apply its integrated, intelligent automotive and traffic management technologies, and other expertise to a connected transportation program in the United States and Colorado.

Working with CDOT and other partners, Panasonic will focus first on connecting cars and the transportation system on I-70, one of the nation's most challenging corridors, as part of the state's RoadX program—Colorado's investment in technology and systems—with the aim of making roads crash-free, injury-free and delay-free.

"Panasonic is a world-wide organization that has shown a significant commitment to innovation and improving people's everyday lives," said Gov. John Hickenlooper. "We are thrilled that they have chosen to partner with Colorado in bringing advanced technologies and strategies for smart transportation and smart cities. Not only does that position Colorado as one of the leading states in harnessing the tomorrow's smart technology today, but it accelerates the benefits of such innovations to the residents and travelers of our state."

"Panasonic is using our nearly 40 years of experience in traffic management to help support safer and more efficient driving," said Joseph M. Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America. "Our shared vision is of an integrated platform that will provide drivers with the most real-time data possible and enable them to make better decisions when traveling. This joint project with CDOT is a logical extension of Panasonic's ongoing public-private partnership with the state of Colorado, the city of Denver and Denver International Airport to develop Smart City solutions."

In a connected transportation system, vehicles "talk" and share data with each other, helping one know if the other has stopped, or is slowing down or has been in a crash. The infrastructure talks to vehicles, telling them if a sharp curve or construction zone is coming up. A connected transportation system also accelerates the advancement of autonomous vehicles by enabling the sharing of data and warnings instantaneously from connected vehicles, augmenting information collected from sensors and cameras.

With new connected vehicle mandates from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the rapid development of autonomous vehicles, Colorado expects to have more than 1.2 million connected vehicles on its roads by 2025. A strong after-market for connected vehicle and autonomous vehicle conversions could further push that beyond 4 million.

"Estimates are that a connected transportation system could reduce crashes by 80 percent and quadruple highway capacity. Data is the new asphalt," said CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt. "Our partnership with Panasonic will help to build a connected transportation platform to gather and convert data into intelligence to help vehicles safely and efficiently get to their destination."

The joint effort will develop advanced connected technology platforms to link cellular, radio and roadway sensor data, and feed it back to the vehicle in seconds—helping the driver or even automated driver-assist system make the best driving decisions.

The data gathered and deployed through the Panasonic partnership will not only help the driver with critical safety warnings such as low visibility, multi-vehicle pileups or sun glare; it can be also used for mobility applications like smart truck parking and varying speed limits as needed. This data has the potential to help pinpoint where investments need to be made in road planning and safety as well as optimizing winter maintenance.

"We believe this is an area where departments of transportation can work with a range of private technology partners like Panasonic," Bhatt said. "Connected transportation systems can become a nexus for this data, bringing together diverse stakeholders, including DOTs, auto manufacturers, mapping systems companies and others [to] work with each other to ensure that when a driver travels from Colorado to Utah, she has the most reliable, real-time, quality information to get there as safely and efficiently as possible."

About Panasonic Corporation of North America

Newark, N.J.-based Panasonic Corporation of North America is a leading technology partner and integrator to businesses, government agencies and consumers across the region. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation, and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic was featured in Fortune magazine's 2016 ranking of 50 companies that are changing the world and doing well by doing good. Specifically cited were its smart and sustainable technologies, including its contributions to smart cities and the electric vehicle revolution. Learn more about Panasonic.

About Colorado's RoadX

RoadX is Colorado's bold vision and commitment to being a national leader in the partnerships and use of innovative technology for crash-free, injury-free, delay-free travel in Colorado. Learn more about this rapid, fast-paced venture to transform our aging transportation system.