Sony will start subsidiary Sony Mobility this spring, with which the company wants to investigate the commercial sale of electric cars. The company also shows the Vision-S 02, a concept of a Sony SUV.
With Sony Mobility, the company wants to “explore a move into the EV market,” with the “commercial sale” of EVs also being considered, Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida said, according to Reuters. So it is not yet final that Sony will actually sell cars; for example, the company could also choose to develop car parts and sell them as a supplier to car manufacturers.
With the announcement to investigate car sales, Sony is also showing a new concept. It is an SUV variant of the Vision-S. The sedan is now called Vision-S 01, the new SUV is called Vision-S 02. This SUV seats seven people and is 4.9 meters long, 1.9 meters wide, and has a wheelbase of 3 meters. Many technical details such as the battery pack used and the range are not yet known.
Sony does say that the two cars share the same platform, and that steps have been taken within the Vision-S project in the field of, for example, self-driving cars. For example, the car has cameras and Lidar sensors, with which a 360-degree image of the car can be made. These sensors can also pass on information to the user, such as approaching emergency service vehicles. Later this year, Sony plans to test L2+ self-driving functions on public roads.
The platform can also handle gesture and voice commands, and can recognize the driver with cool sensors. Once the driver is recognized, the car adapts, among other things, the interface and driving sounds based on that driver’s preferences. The car retrieves this information via a 5G connection, which can also be used to download updates. Sony is also testing remote car control over that 5G connection.
The company does not only focus on the driving characteristics of EVs, but also wants to look at entertainment in cars. For example, the Vision-S platform will have a Bravia Core for Vision-S service, which will allow videos to be played on the screens of a car and also play PlayStation games via streaming from their own PlayStation console at home, or via Sony’s streaming service.
Sony has not yet indicated how much the Vision-S cars could cost. The company announced its first EV prototype two years ago, but soon said it did not want to put the car into production. In addition to cars, Mobility will focus on the use of artificial intelligence and robotics. The development of ‘autonomous entertainment robot’ aibo and drone Airpeak will also fall under this.