Decarbonization is the Message from Leading Japanese Manufacturers at CES

Promoting decarbonization and enhanced car safety was the focus of exhibits by Japanese manufacturers like Panasonic and Sharp at the recent CES trade show.

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CES, one of the world's largest consumer electronics and IT trade fairs, was held from January 5-8 in Las Vegas. Panasonic, Sharp and other Japanese manufacturers focused their exhibits on the latest solar cells and products for electric vehicles (EVs). These Japanese technologies were promoted as part of the ongoing global decarbonization effort.

Decarbonization Via Next-Gen Solar Cells

Panasonic Holdings created and exhibited a tree-like monument using perovskite solar cells (PSCs), a type of next-generation solar cell that is increasingly attracting attention. The company is touting the thin, lightweight, and bendable nature of these cells that make them an ideal technology for popularizing renewable energy.

Tree monument made from perovskite solar cells (photo courtesy of Panasonic Holdings).

Panasonic also introduced its efforts to achieve 100% renewable energy consumption at its plant in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, as well as batteries for EVs that are currently under development. A company spokesperson commented, "We want to communicate our efforts to develop technologies that contribute to the environment, such as solar power and green hydrogen."

Sharp's exhibit also highlighted technologies that contribute to carbon neutrality. One is its indoor photovoltaic device that can be used in retail stores for electronic price tags and remote controls. By combining specialized solar cells and LCD display technology, the company has achieved twice the power generation efficiency of its existing products. Devices that previously required disposable batteries can now operate using indoor lighting alone.

Car Safety Technologies

Meanwhile, in the past few years, CES has also become a place for automakers from various countries to present their new EV models. Japanese manufacturers of EVs and their electronic components put their focus this year on in-vehicle devices.

Sharp exhibited its driver monitoring system, a safety feature, for the first time. The device uses a camera to capture the driver's facial orientation, gaze, and blink rate to detect when a driver is in poor physical condition or has dozed off.

At the venue of the CES trade show in Las Vegas, on January 5 (Kyodo).

A US-based subsidiary of the Kyocera Group exhibited products related to its new night vision system. Announced last October, the system is designed to support safe driving at night and in the rain.

Products that enhance driving safety in various ways were on display. These include the world's first headlights that simultaneously emit white light and near-infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, and a spotlight that illuminates the road more than one kilometer ahead.

Murata Manufacturing displayed a device that uses a millimeter wave sensor designed to prevent children from being left unattended in cars. The system detects people based on reflection of electromagnetic waves. Unlike a camera, the device can detect children even in blind spots.

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