On November 2, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (PASA) announced the opening of its Innovation Center in Atlanta. The new Panasonic Automotive Innovation Center facility will be within the Centergy One, a LEED Silver-certified office tower, located in Technology Square in Midtown Atlanta near the Georgia Tech campus, one of the nation's top science and engineering research universities. The Panasonic offices are designed to maximize the use of natural light and enable easy and open collaboration between its projected software, electrical, systems, mechanical and other additional support personnel.
At the launch, PASA's president Tom Gebhardt, engineering vice-president Scott Kirchner, and human resources director Stephen Childs, welcomed Georgia state and local Atlanta government officials including Gretchen Corbin, deputy commissioners of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Hans Gant, senior vice president of economic development, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Dr. G.P. "Bud" Peterson, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and other university representatives, and Bill Cronin, vice president of Invest Atlanta to officially open the PASA Innovation Center. This new facility is expected to become an incubator for next-generation automotive infotainment technologies. Being located in Midtown Atlanta will provide Panasonic the opportunity to tap into the engineering talent of one of the fastest growing high-technology areas in the nation.
As today's consumers want to seamlessly continue their connected lifestyles when they drive, the traditional car radio continues to evolve into a much more multi-functional hub device with internet and smartphone connectivity. The development of ever more sophisticated connected systems is the top priority of automakers and suppliers like Panasonic. Creation of such systems requires extensive software development, validation and testing. With the new Innovation Center in Atlanta, Panasonic will focus on:
- collaboration with local high-tech companies and local technology incubators to bring in new ideas and technology,
- attracting talent to PASA from the greater Atlanta area, and
- reducing development costs through collaboration and by tapping into Georgia Tech's cooperative education program.
- Gebhardt Addresses the Attendees
President Gebhardt said, "We are excited about the opportunity to tap into the engineering talent of one of the fastest growing high-technology areas in the nation. There are over 13,000 technology companies employing nearly 200,000 technology workers in Atlanta, so what better location to open our Innovation Center! Another driving factor for Panasonic Automotive to locate the Innovation Center in the Technology Square area was our interest to enhance our partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology. Our goal is to develop a strong partnership with the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) as well as the University's Division of Professional Practice for employing co-ops. We feel both partnerships will provide Panasonic Automotive a continuing advantage in our development of the next generation of in-vehicle multimedia infotainment systems."