Over the course of Sony’s presentation at CES 2022, the company revealed a new prototype car called ‘Vision-S-02’. The company also revealed that it will be establishing a new operating company called ‘Sony Mobility Inc.’, sometime in Spring 2022.
The intention of creating the new operating company is to increase focus on EV vehicles. When describing the purpose of the new company Sony said: ‘the company intends to explore entry into the EV market.’ This move shows that Sony is serious about EV vehicles, but apart from the prototype revealed at CES 2022 it is yet to be seen what comes from Sony in this area.
On the topic of the new operating company Sony also said:
‘The new company will aim to make the best use of AI and robotics technologies, help realize a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis, fill people with emotion, and contribute to society. With VISION-S, which contributes to the evolution of mobility, together with the autonomous entertainment robot aibo, and the drone Airpeak, Sony will seek to continue to create new value in a variety of fields.’
Sony also revealed its prototype SUV-type car, called ‘Vision-S’-02. Sony focused on four main points for the vehicle: Safety, Adaptability, Remote Operation and Entertainment.
The vehicle is using the same EV/cloud platform as Sony’s other prototype vehicle, the Vision-S 01, which is already getting tested on public roads. The new prototype has a new form factor which features a large interior with 7 seats.
In a statement from Sony, on the point of safety, the company said: ‘The system supports safe driving by recognising and analysing the surrounding environment in real time, with sensors installed 360 degrees around the vehicle.’ They also added: ‘Sony aims to provide greater safety and comfort to all through its sensor and communication technologies, and is currently conducting functional verification tests in Europe toward the release of Level 2+ advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on public roads.’
On the point of Adaptability, Sony is focusing on providing monitoring functions for driver authentication and also offering support for gesture and voice commands in the vehicle. The intention is to allow the vehicle to adapt to user preferences which include customization of the display theme, acceleration/deceleration sounds, vehicle settings, key locks and more.
The company is also including 5G connections to the vehicle, allowing low-latency, high-capacity and high-speed capabilities. Software updates for the vehicle will be completed over the air, Sony says the benefit of this is that the company can continuously ‘evolve service functions and value-added offerings’.
Sony is also focusing on entertainment. In this area, the vehicle will include seat speakers which will create a three-dimensional sound field. Additionally, the vehicle also offers a front panoramic screen and individual rear-seat displays. The company also promoted the idea of being able to play PlayStation® games via a remote connection.
The electric vehicle industry is becoming increasingly competitive with already established vehicle manufacturers pushing into electric vehicle production, new companies appearing globally with the same intentions and one of the most well know EV companies Tesla recently announced record car deliveries. The move by Sony of establishing a new operating company purely for EV vehicles shows that the company is committed to pushing into the industry, but it is yet to be seen how far away any production vehicle may be.