After Apple and Google, Sony is yet another electronics company working hard to develop a self-driving car.
According to a report from FinancialTimes, Sony recently invested $842,000 in a 2% stake in ZMP, a Japanese startup developing robot cars. The two companies are excited about the future of self-driving cars. Sony has expertise in image sensors and ZMP has expertise with robotics.
Shigeo Ohba, general manager of Sony's image sensor business, sees the demand for automotive image sensors will expand significantly from 2017 and continue through 2030. According to Ohba, Sony wants to be the leader in automotive sensors by the time self-driving cars become a reality in the next-decade.
"We have to be No. 1 in automotive sensors" by the time self-driving cars are expected to hit the roads in early to mid-2020s", Ohba said.
Other than Sony, Apple is reportedly in talks with automotive experts and suppliers with the aim of building a self-driving car.
Reuters, citing a source familiar with the talks, said the company "is exploring how to make an entire vehicle," a step away from designing just its software or individual parts which it does already.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal also confirmed the existence of the program, codenamed "Titan."
However, it is yet to be confirmed whether the tech giant is building an electric car or an autonomous vehicle. Apple said only that it does not comment on rumours and speculation.