A year ago Sony displayed a concept vehicle “just for show,” but this year at CES, it announced it is exploring entering the automotive market.
A new division, Sony Mobility, Inc., will launch this spring with a focus on accelerating Sony’s efforts in electric vehicles (EVs) and combining artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technologies, announced Sony Chairman/CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. “We are exploring a commercial launch of Sony’s EV,” he said.
The company also revealed a new prototype SUV vehicle, Vision-S 02, with many high tech interior features. You can see the Sony presentation and features here, (skip to 1 minute, 52 seconds).
Sony’s car interior embeds high definition screens spanning the full dashboard. The in-seat speakers create a 3D sound field and the audio system is compatible with 360 Reality Audio to create an immersive experience.
Sony, as an entertainment company, is in a position to offer its own streaming movies, video games and music.
Users can play PlayStation games through a remote connection to a console in their home, or play via streaming to the car from the cloud.
Vision-S also includes a digital video service “Bravia Core for Vision-S.” The service enables video playback on the front panoramic screen and individual rear-seat displays.
Sony, which makes much of its revenue from sensors, is packing the car with 40 safety sensors in and around the vehicle. These include “high-sensitivity, high-resolution, wide dynamic range CMOS image sensors and LiDAR sensors that accurately sense three-dimensional space.” These can help alert drivers to the presence of emergency vehicles, or allow autonomous parking, help with lane keeping, and more.
Sony is currently conducting real world tests on its sensor/communication technologies in Europe and hopes to release new advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), it said.