How Panasonic Drives V2X for Connected Cars

Connected vehicles and infrastructure can make highways up to 80% safer. Better connections mean we all get through the day with greater ease and convenience. People receive the information they need, right when they need it. Cities adapt to the needs of citizens. V2X is a new concept but it’s cars talk to drivers and each other to avoid collisions. And planes keep pilots informed about the weather, and passengers in touch with their lives below.

Back in 2011, I went to an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) conference. We were in a symposium with other media taking about V2X back then. Now painted in the Street lines are sensors connecting to the car sensors and creating this insane amount of data to help save lives.

How Panasonic Drives V2X for Connected CarsPanasonic v2x sensors sense not just cars but people.

As Panasonic states V2X is the car to everything Meta Data related (or connected vehicle technology). While it’s not the most popular term yet, it will be.

As I’ve learned, Panasonic has a Connected Vehicle Demo Center that’s collecting travel data from various sources and then communicates that information across a “technological ecosystem”. So it’s not just about collecting the data. The secret sauce is then taking that ton of data and making it into “intelligent, actionable information for roadway operators and drivers.”

As I’ve learned, Panasonic has a Connected Vehicle Demo Center that’s collecting travel data from various sources and then communicates that information across a “technological ecosystem”. So it’s not just about collecting the data. The secret sauce is then taking that ton of data and making it into “intelligent, actionable information for roadway operators and drivers.”

In cars today, it will even sense people on sidewalks or at crosswalks.

V2X wireless communication makes moving vehicles and people visible. This technology enables vehicle to vehicle signals, vehicle to pedestrian communication and then takes all that information to make sure every car on the road knows about what’s going on. As Panasonic Staff told me personally, V2X will help prevent traffic accidents. To me: that’s how we do things to make traffic safe and focused on driving.

Panasonic Connected Vehicle Demo Center that’s collecting travel data from various sources and then communicates that information across a “technological ecosystem”. So it’s not just about collecting the data. The secret sauce is then taking that ton of data!

V2X States Prove It for a Nationally Connected System

There’s a reason seven of the top ten auto makers rely on Panasonic’s technology. As I wrote:

The Seattle Department of Transportation launched the New Mobility Playbook. As transportation becomes increasingly shared, active, self-driving, electric, and data-driven, Seattle is planning ahead to ensure that innovation contributes to a safe, equitable, sustainable city with a transportation system that serves everyone. The New Mobility Playbook includes a set of strategies that will position Seattle to encourage and guide innovation in transportation technology, reorganizing our streets to grow healthy communities and vibrant public spaces. Panasonic with USDOT and Colorado DOT are like Cowboys of the innovation toward pioneering the revolution of our driving experiences.

The Western movie playwright now cues in the Cowboy here to say:

Well my friends, Panasonic is a trailblazer for building connected transport and developing smart cities over there! No seriously, Panasonic is applying its heavy duty, smart automotive and traffic management tech and smarts to a connected transportation pilot in the United States and Colorado.

Panasonic Moves Us

Recently, I was briefed on how Panasonic teamed up with the United States and Colorado Department of Transportations to build a connected transportation program.


What does that mean?

As we drive or move along in newer cars, there are sensors all throughout cars which are brand new. So those cars are connected to the sensors on the road. If an accident happened 10 cars ahead, the driver is notified of that traffic data, indicating they need to slow the heck down! Even stop why don’t cha!!

That’ s real-time data being shared across all vehicles, infrastructure and people to improve safety and mobility on the road.

Connected Cars “See” Way Better in Bad Weather

So when do crashes mostly occur? Those lovely intersections where two or more roads cross. Then on any day or might someone (not mentioning names here!) drivers do things like turn the wrong way, crossing over or something else. This is a recipe for something to happen. I live near an intersection and there are always active accidents there.

Check out this great video from Panasonic showing you how Connected Cars work. It’s a cool video!

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So anything that can help drivers see pedestrians or other vehicles before an accident occurs can help reduce the danger of intersections and roadways in general. So with hundreds of billions of sensors on roads connected to cars connected to a big database is beyond Meta data for traffic management systems to allow cars to communicate with each other. That means highway infrastructure will keep our roadways moving smoothly. Now. There’s NOT anything wrong with that! Now they need to talk about better vehicle batteries to go hybrid, Plugin hybrid or all electric!

This post is paid for and sponsored by Panasonic USA on #PanasonicMovesUs

Why You Should Re-use Your Old Phone as a Dash Cam

If you’re like most Americans, you have an old phone laying around in a drawer somewhere. Many upgrade to the “newest model” every two years. Unfortunately, this leads to an incredible amount of waste. According to Planet Green Recycle, up to 70% of cell phones could be reused, but very few are ever recycled. Additionally, recycling just 42 cell phones would save enough energy to power your home for one full year, and that’s not even counting the resources it took to make it!

In fact, re-using your cellphone is one of the most immediate ways you can help prevent e-waste from being introduced into the world. Creating new electronics uses a massive amount of virgin materials and contributes to carbon emissions, and if we recycled mobile phones,  we’d be able to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 90%! It can also help keep toxic substances like arsenic, cadmium, lithium, lead, zinc and mercury out of the environment.

So how can you recycle your old smartphone? One of the easiest ways is to convert your phone into a dash cam. Dash cams, being electronics, pose the same problems as cell phones for the environment, and because they do the same things, you may as well make sure you’re not helping drive more demand for the electronics industry. Both your old cell phone and a dash cam have a camera and can record video, so why not use what you have?

What is a Dash Cam, and Why Should You Use Your Phone as One?

A dash cam is a small camera that attaches to the windshield or dashboard of your car. As you drive, the dash cam constantly records what’s happening in your line of vision. So why would you need a dash cam? You can later view the footage—You may get a recording of a massive meteor, or you might have some invaluable footage for a future insurance claim.

If you’re involved in a car accident and don’t have a dash cam, it’ll be challenging to prove that you weren’t at fault for the accident. Dash cams provide invaluable evidence after a vehicular incident. For example, if a driver dangerously merged onto the highway and forced you to rear-end him or her, it’ll be nearly impossible to blame him without footage showing his reckless driving. If you’re found “at fault” for an auto accident, your insurance rates will go through the roof.

A dash cam also eliminates any of the “he said, she said” that comes with interviewing witnesses at the scene of a crash. If you recorded what really happened, there’s no way the other driver can claim otherwise.

Getting Started: What You’ll Need

Setting up a dash cam for your car is actually much simpler than you may believe. You will not need any kind of cellular plan or internet connection with your old phone to convert it to a dash cam. Some equipment you will need does include:

• An old smartphone

• A dash cam app (you can get free or paid versions, but they’re available for either Android or iPhone users)

• A car mount for your phone. You might have one already, or you can buy one at nearly any electronics store or online, but the thrifty make their own!

• A charger if your phone’s battery life is less than stellar

Once you use WiFi to get your phone online, you can download a dash cam app of your liking. Be sure to read reviews—Some free apps are excellent, but it may be worthwhile to pay a little extra, especially if you’re worried about your insurance premiums rising.

With the app installed, attach it to your front windshield. You’ll want to have the camera higher than usual to get the best view of the road. A good spot is directly behind your rearview mirror.

When you’re ready to go, hit record! It’s a good idea to take a few test drives to ensure the position of the camera allows you to record your entire field of vision, but overall the process is very simple and can be done without any heavy equipment or technical know-how.

Caveats to Using a Phone Dash Cam

Using a cell phone as a dash cam isn’t perfect. Here are a couple of potholes you might run into when recycling your old phone:

• You’ll likely need to turn your dash cam app on every time you get into your car. Most stand-alone dash cameras start automatically as soon as you being driving.

• If your old phone has a bad battery life (chances are good here), you’ll need to keep it charged at all times.

• It’s always possible that someone could try to break into your car to steal the old phone, though you can just unmount the phone itself.

Overall, the financial and environmental benefits of recycling an old cell phone to use as a dash cam on your car or bike greatly outweigh any problems you may run into while using one. If you have a phone lying around, try booting it up and downloading a dash cam app! It may save you thousands in insurance premiums someday, but more importantly, it’s taking something that might just sit in a drawer, or worse, a landfill, and turning it into a valuable piece of equipment.

Despite a Deeply Divided Country, Survey Finds Americans Agree on One Thing: Saving the Planet

Americans Find Common Ground on Key Environmental Issues, Offering Companies New Opportunities to Connect with Consumers

Many Americans Now Believe Using Eco-Friendly Products is an Important Part of Their Personal Image


Contact: Mark Pankowski


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 11) – Despite a country deeply divided along social and political lines, a new survey finds most Americans agree on at least one thing: We need to save the planet.

The national survey, part of a special Eco Pulse report by Shelton Group, found the majority of Americans believe we deserve a clean planet, climate change is occurring and we all have a responsibility to take concrete steps to reduce our environmental impact.

“Despite all of the fighting, anger and frustration in the United States today, Americans can find common ground when it comes to the environment,” said Suzanne Shelton, President and CEO of Shelton Group, the nation’s leading marketing communications agency focused exclusively on energy and the environment. “We all want the same thing — a cleaner planet – and we agree that we must do our part to make that happen.”

The new findings confirm a fundamental shift among Americans. A full 40 percent of Americans now believe “buying and using eco-friendly products is an important part of my personal image.”

“Sustainability is becoming a much stronger part of how Americans identify themselves. It’s clear that consumers want to be on the right side of this issue – and they expect the companies they buy from to be as well,” Shelton said. “This presents significant opportunities for companies doing things the right way – and a threat to those that aren’t.”

The national survey, which polled 2,000 Americans in September and October, found:

— 76 percent of Americans agreed: “People have a right to clean air and water.”

— 70 percent agreed: “We have a moral duty to leave the earth in as good or better shape than we found it.”

— 65 percent agreed that climate change is occurring, and it is primarily caused by human activity.

— 88 percent agreed the average person should be taking concrete steps to reduce his or her environmental impact.

— 78 percent said they feel at least moderately responsible to change daily purchase habits and practices to positively impact the environment.

As part of its report, Shelton Group tested Americans’ gut reactions to some overarching words and phrases used when discussing the environment.

“Science” was the word garnering the most positive reaction. Three-quarters (75 percent) of Americans feel positively about “science,” 21 percent are neutral, and only 4 percent feel negatively toward the word.

And the lowest-scoring term in the survey? “Carbon footprint.” Only 28 percent rated it positively, with a full one-third giving it a negative score.

In addition to “science,” other words garnering positive ratings included “conservation” (a close second with 71 percent rating it positively) and “sustainability” (with 69 percent).

“Science, conservation and sustainability. These are three words that even a divided America can agree are good for our country and for our planet,” Shelton said.

Companies using these positive terms – words that unite Americans rather than divide them — can ensure their messages resonate with consumers and build brand loyalty.

Shelton’s advice to corporations: “Your brand’s interaction with consumers is a relationship, and the key to any good relationship is aligning on values. That means identifying the environmental values that your brand embodies and communicating them in terms that engage consumers.

“It’s pretty straightforward: Make a commitment to the environment, take action and tell the story of what you’re doing and the impact you’re making,” Shelton added. “That’s how you create a meaningful connection with consumers today.”

A copy of the special Eco Pulse report can be downloaded at


Shelton Group is the nation’s leading marketing communications agency focused exclusively on energy and the environment. Their vision is that every home and building in America is energy responsible and sustainability is ordinary; their purpose is to create a market advantage for the organizations that are creating that energy-responsible, sustainable future. With research, strategy and creative expertise, they help their clients build brand affinity, market their products and start movements. Learn more at


The Eco Pulse survey, designed by Shelton Group, was fielded September and October of 2017 and surveyed a total of 2,000 respondents. The survey sample was stratified to mirror the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 2.2%. A copy of the full report can be downloaded at

Oregon State receives grant to reduce university food waste

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Materials Management program has awarded Oregon State University with a $27,372 grant to help the university reduce food waste by 10 percent at its Corvallis campus.

The money will be used to institute a new computer program in the dining halls called LeanPath. The system uses cutting-edge technology to track food waste by amount, type, cause and cost. The information can be used by staff to pinpoint where to make adjustments and prevent future waste.

Portland-based LeanPath created technology for commercial kitchens including scales, cameras and a touchscreen user interface. LeanPath is used in universities, on cruise ships, and at other large scale operations. Data reveals where the company should adjust purchasing, production, menus and staff training to prevent waste in the future.

Chris Anderson with University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) said it’s difficult to currently measure the university’s level of food waste from dining halls, but he estimates it to be between 200,000 and 250,000 pounds annually. The new technology is expected to allow UHDS to decrease expenditures on food purchases, reduce pick-ups of  organic waste by Republic Service, and reduce food donations to Linn-Benton Food Rescue.

Anderson said LeanPath will provide staff with a mechanism to weigh, photograph and report on all wasted food.

“LeanPath provides a tool to be able to pull reports and visuals that demonstrates wasted food very locally, like by each food-service platform per dining center, in units that can be equalized so that administrators and managers are able to evaluate and generate efficiencies through menu adjustments and operational changes,” Anderson said. “In the end it’s about bringing attention to wasted food and our opportunity to lessen our impact.”

The equipment should be implemented by July 2018.

UHDS has worked towards reducing wasted food for decades. Among the changes to the traditional dining hall model were moving to an ala carte pricing structure that encourages customers to take what they intend to consume, providing tray-less service when applicable, partnering with the Linn-Benton Food Rescue and encouraging staff to cook items on demand. Anderson believes LeanPath will be a further step in that effort.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Dining Services to reflect on our practices, both positive and correctable, to have an impact that aligns well with our institutional values,” he said. “I’m looking forward to 18 months from now to see what happens.” 


By: Theresa Hogue, 541-737-0786;

Source: Christopher Anderson, 541-737-2885;

This release is available at:

Photo available at:

Unsold sandwiches, salads donated to Keep Austin Fed

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) news

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is working with concessionaires and Keep Austin Fed to operate a terminal Food Rescue Program. The Food Rescue Program donates food to the Austin community rather than having the unsold, packaged food going to the landfill.

“We are so thrilled when organizations like ABIA join our fight to reduce the 40 percent of food wasted in America by redistributing their wholesome surplus food to some of the approximately 180,000 people in Austin who don’t know where their next meal will come from,” said Lisa Barden, Keep Austin Fed Program Director.

The Food Rescue Program was initiated by Austin’s airport on March 1, 2017, and within the first month, the program gathered over 3,500 unsold food products to donate to those in need.

Unsold food products included sandwiches, salads, snack boxes and buns.

“While working on the composting and recycling initiatives, we realized there was a perfect opportunity to implement a food rescue program,” said B.J. Carpenter, Sustainability Program Coordinator at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. “As part of our overall waste program and sustainability goals, we look for new ways to reduce waste and keep things out of the landfill.”

The program focuses on preventing unopened packaged food from being discarded by distributing the food to individuals in need within the community. Paradies Lagardere donated a refrigerator to store donated food, in the Barbra Jordan Terminal. Keep Austin Fed picks up the food on weekdays.

“We’re proud and excited to be part of the ABIA community that puts so much effort into giving back through our daily concessions operations inside the airport,” said Jennifer Watson, General Manager of Food and Beverage at Paradies Lagardere ABIA. “Taking only a few moments out of our daily routine, we’re able to provide much needed meals and food products to very worthy local groups that assist in providing meals to Austin area residents in need.”

Donations are taken to Foundation Communities (Skyline Terrace, Arbor Terrace and Bluebonnet Studios) in Austin, which provide families with an affordable place to call home.

Donations also go to the Rebekah Baines Johnson Center, which has been providing affordable housing for the elderly in Austin for over 40 years on the north side of Lady Bird Lake.

“We are honored to help with this great cause,” said Terry Mahlum, Regional Vice President at Delaware North. “With our made today and gone today sandwiches, this program allows us to donate these sandwiches to a great local group. Delaware North is committed to this city.”

The airport of choice for Central Texas is Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). Fly Austin on new nonstop international destinations including Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL) on Volaris,, and Mexico City, Mexico (MEX) on AeroMexico, Welcome new domestic nonstops: Kansas City (MCI) and Panama City (ECP) on, Raleigh-Durham (RDU) on Delta,, and Indianapolis (IND), Pittsburgh (PIT), St. Petersburg (PIE), Destin-Fort Walton Beach (VPS), and Cleveland (CLE) on Allegiant,

Welcome Sun Country a new carrier to Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport (MSP) at Find all nonstop routes with the free interactive flight guide on

Total Recharge from Vistabule Teardrop Trailer Solar Powered by Sunflare

Remove yourself from daily stress and recharge your life in a Vistabule teardrop trailer with roof-integrated solar energy. Now you can find peace way off the grid and still have a piece of home. Lights? Fan? Phone? Computer? Camera? Refrigerator? Heater? Not to mention the snuggly bed and a full-kitchen.

The design of the Vistabule Teardrop trailer harkens back to the 1950’s, but the amenities are oh, so new – starting with built-in solar panels by Sunflare.

Outdoor adventurists can have flexible solar panels built into the roof, capturing solar energy throughout the day. That makes it easier to power your stuff, so once you are ready to lift your kicks as evening falls, all you have to do is open the wine.

The optional, customized panels are flexible and bend with the curve of the trailer’s roof to keep the Vistabule’s beautiful design line highly refined.

Unlike traditional silicon panels, Sunflare’s solar panels are thin and lightweight, adding no drag and virtually no poundage to the trailer. So “going solar” won’t slow you down.

The other amenities also leave the 50’s in the dust. Vistabule features several large windows, a full-size sofa bed, interior and exterior lights, a two-burner cooktop, a sink with running water and a remote fan, as well as storage space for all your gear.

The camper even has a collapsible coffee table and drop-down nightstand tables. The trailer itself is light and can be towed by almost any car.

“We’ve worked with Minnesota Teardrop to make it easy to factory-install the SUN2 panels on your spanking new trailer or have them retrofitted to your current gem,” said Philip Gao, CEO of Sunflare. “We want to be flexible.”

Just like the panels.

Bert Taylor CEO Minnesota Teardrop Trailers, manufacturer of the Vistabule said, “When we first started our business, we wanted to make a camping trailer that was beautiful, energy-efficient and would easily blend technology with human comfort. Adding Sunflare solar collection panels to our Vistabule trailers substantially lengthens the time campers can be off the grid, and greatly enhances the entire camping experience.”

About the Sunflare Integrated Solar:

Sunflare SUN2  solar panels can charge 2 cells phones fully, run the lights, a fan, charge a computer to 30 percent, run the fridge, all day, AND the heater for 3 hours a day, for 2 1/2 sunny days straight. After that, you probably want to pick up and drive somewhere to recharge your battery, and find another beautiful vista, a new point of view, or an off-the-beaten path fishing hole.

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