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Technology for a Sustainable Society

Contributing to New Ways of Life - Panasonic's R&D Strategy

Sep 25, 2020

Panasonic has been undertaking a wide range of business activities to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations. In July 2020, Panasonic's Senior Managing Executive Officer, Yoshiyuki Miyabe conducted an online technology seminar and spoke about the latest initiatives in research and development that extend across multitudes of fields and creation of new businesses that bear the SDG targets in mind.
(Photo: July 15, 2020 - Yoshiyuki Miyabe, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO), speaking during the online technology seminar for the media.)

July 2020, COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, and the world is still in the midst of challenging times.

Panasonic's founder, Konosuke Matsushita said in 1958, "Difficulties are opportunities for growth." "When faced with challenge, Matsushita Electric has always developed something better. With this mindset comes the realization that an unprecedented crisis could form the foundation for an unprecedented development." Etching his words in their minds once again, Panasonic employees are continuing to engage in various initiatives.

Listening to customers' feedback, keeping apace with the needs and wants of the times, Panasonic has continued to provide technologies, products, and services. One key performance indicator nowadays are the SDGs. Conducting business activities to help resolve society's challenges while upholding the 17 SDGs fits well with the company's philosophy, "To achieve both a better life and a sustainable society."

The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 goals intended to be achieved by 2030 to transform the world.

"Updating lifestyles as well as the world" in three areas

Designating the company's raison d'etre as "updating lifestyles as well as the world," Panasonic has been researching and developing solutions in mainly three areas--Mobility, Home, and Business--so that it may be of service to society.

Mobility
For example, autonomous driving and fleet systems using obstacle detection, external environment recognition technologies, as well as technologies that improve energy efficiency such as next generation power devices, lithium-ion battery systems, and contactless power supply systems.

Home
For example, sensing solutions e.g. facial recognition entry control, automatic self-checkout cash registers using facial recognition, and detection of suspicious individuals, and technologies for lifestyle data analysis, emotion recognition based on people's behavioral and activity information, and transformable housing.

Business
For example, solutions for next generation stores/facilities such as automatic payment services, unmanned delivery robotics, and automatic stocking/restocking, and robotics technologies that supports factory logistics and delivery such as power assist devices and autonomous mobile robots.

Technologies and knowhow in key devices, manufacturing, and energy creation and storage that Panasonic has cultivated over the years are the "pillars of manufacturing" that form the bedrock of these products, services, and solutions.

Contributing to new ways of life

COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. What we took for granted as being normal has changed. In the era of new normal, meetings that took place face-to-face has shifted online, and we have begun to shop more and more online from home. These changes have brought new challenges, for example, companies are looking for better logistical efficiencies. Panasonic aims to help resolve these challenges with its technologies, services, and solutions.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Panasonic has provided the "Vieureka Platform" that can monitor the degree of congestion and the flow of people in stores and public facilities.

With respect to smart aging care, Panasonic began providing "Lifelens," operation assistance service for nursing care facilities. This service helps reduce the workload of staff conducting regular nighttime rounds and can also help mitigate the spread of viruses.
Panasonic is also promoting "Digital Care Management," which assists care managers who help provide in-home nursing care as well as the development and pilot tests of walking training robots.

Establishing information platforms that support services

"Panasonic Digital Platform" is a digital/cloud technology and an information platform that support various services, and it has already been deployed globally. With this platform, data from IoT devices connected to the cloud server can be leveraged to provide timely feedback to customers.

Panasonic will also accelerate its efforts to implement more widely its "IoT PLC," which enables power line communication via the wiring and wiring devices in homes.

What needs to be tackled alongside IoT is system security. Smart factories and smart buildings managed on the network as well as products Panasonic manufactures and sells are becoming more and more connected to the network. As such, Panasonic also operates and offers IoT cyber security systems to protect the network from various threats and to keep monitoring it.

With 2030 and even 2050 in sight

In 2015 the SDGs were established, and two years later, in 2017, Panasonic had already drafted its "Environment Vision 2050." This vision highlighted Panasonic's commitment to reducing energy during the manufacturing process and while Panasonic products are in use. The company also vowed to create and utilize clean energy. Panasonic will continue to engage in activities with 2030, the target year for the SDGs, and beyond, 2050 in sight.

During these challenging times, Panasonic will unite these three powers:

  • The power to create robust technology that sets it apart from the rest
  • The power to transform business models and create new businesses
  • The power for cross value innovation

Working as one, Panasonic will continue to deliver on its commitment while ensuring that its management philosophy, "We will devote ourselves to the progress and development of society and the well-being of people through our business activities, thereby enhancing the quality of life throughout the world" lies at the heart of all of its activities. Panasonic will also "update lifestyles" tailored to each customer, extend that to more and more spaces and domains to address the challenges people face. Please continue to look forward to more R&D and new businesses from Panasonic.

Panasonic Corporation, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO), Yoshiyuki Miyabe.

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