Hitachi is stepping up its activity in autonomous drive technologies and targeting small and mid-size automakers who might want to buy in the technology rather than develop systems themselves.

The Japanese company has unveiled its first self-driving car prototype. The donor vehicle was a Subaru vehicle fitted with Hitachi components such as sensors and a control unit.

According to a Nikkei report, Atsushi Kawabata, chief technology officer of Hitachi Automotive Systems, claimed that Hitachi is unique in its ability to bring the relevant technologies and systems together. "We are the only company in the world that brings together all the technologies necessary for automated driving," he told the news agency.

The report added that Hitachi predicts that the auto industry will experience a “tectonic shift” comparable with what has happened in IT and suppliers have the opportunity to position themselves the way Intel did with its ‘Intel Inside’ program. While leading automakers will likely keep their autonomous vehicle development in-house, the report said Hitachi expects to draw in contracts for such systems from a host of smaller manufacturers.