Sony Japan is looking forward to the future as the tech giant plans to launch a company this spring aimed at examining the possibility of entering the electric car market while infusing its entertainment and sensor technology into it.
According to Reuters, Sony wants to harness its strengths in entertainment and sensors to play a “bigger role in next-generation mobility” when it comes to electric vehicles.
The new company, Sony Mobility Inc, comes as the Japanese tech giant is “exploring a commercial launch” of electric vehicles, Sony chairman and president Kenichiro Yoshida told on the CES.
“With our imaging and sensing, cloud, 5G and entertainment technologies combined with our contents mastery, we believe Sony is well-positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility,” he said.
Shares in Sony jumped 4.2% in Tokyo after the electric vehicle plans were announced.
Yoshida unveiled a prototype sport utility vehicle, the VISION-S 02, which uses the same electric vehicle platform as the previously announced VISION-S 01 coupe that began testing on public roads in Europe from December 2020.
Although its once-dominant position in consumer electronics has been eroded by Asian rivals like South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, Sony still has an arsenal of sophisticated technology in areas such as sensors critical to autonomous driving.
It also remains one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies, home to prominent video game and movie franchises. Audio and entertainment systems are increasingly a focus for next-generation vehicles.
In January 2020, Sony unveiled the Vision-S 01 concept car at CES, however, the electric sedan had been in development since then and some were beginning to lose hope in the venture but now with the recent announcement, it confirms the dedication towards the EV market.
According to Carscoops, the Sony Vision-S 01 is seen as a future rival to the Tesla Model S, while the new Vision-S 02 is the equivalent of the Model X. The electric SUV is 4,895 mm (192.7 inches) long with a wheelbase of 3,030 mm (119.3 inches), figures identical to its sedan sibling.
However, it is slightly wider at 1,930 mm (76 inches) and taller at 1,650 mm (65 inches) while featuring an increased ground clearance by 6.2 inches (157 mm). It is also heavier, weighing 5,467 lbs (2,480 kg), compared to the 5,180 lbs (2,350 kg) of the sedan.
Sony wants a piece of the electric vehicle market
It is reported that the design of the Vision-S 02 is pretty similar to that of the Vision-S 01, with the same styling features incorporated into a taller body. The SUV is expected to offer a lavish interior and will have seats accommodating up to 7 people.
Sony will also be providing a high-tech dashboard for both models, including three large screens, two additional screens for the digital mirrors, and another touchscreen on the floating centre console for operating the vehicle’s functions.
Adding two more touchscreens mounted on the seatbacks and another small unit for climate control, there is a total of nine displays in the cabin. The seat-mounted speakers are compatible with the 360 Reality Audio, while the video service Bravia Core, 5G connectivity, and the ability to play PlayStation games through a remote connection with the console take in-vehicle entertainment to the next level.
Further, Sony seems to be envisioning driverless cars as the Vision-S EVs come with sensors installed all around the vehicle that recognize and analyze the surrounding environment in real-time. These sensors include high-sensitivity, high-resolution, wide dynamic range CMOS image sensors and LiDAR sensors that accurately sense three-dimensional space.
There is no official word on when the Vision-S electric vehicles will be going commercial but Sony has revealed that it would be establishing Sony Mobility Inc. in the spring of 2022, so there’s that.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.