Sony, a Japanese electronics company, unveiled a concept of its new electric car called the Vision-S at the annual CES trade show. The novelty was built by Sony’s AI and Robotics team.
The Vision-S is a prototype vehicle created to demonstrate the company’s electronic and entertainment technologies, including sensors, that will contribute to “safer and more reliable autonomous driving.” The vehicle has a total of 33 sensors that can detect objects and people both outside and inside the car and help with analyzing the road. This array of sensors that monitor everything around the car is called a “safety cocoon” and includes Lidar sensors and Time-of-Flight cameras.
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said, “This prototype embodies our contribution to the future of mobility.”
The Vision-S runs on an EV platform that was developed by Magna International, a Canadian manufacturer of automobile parts. Other companies that agreed to supply Sony with components include Qualcomm, Bosch, BlackBerry, etc. The newly-designed platform will be able to power other vehicles, for instance, SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles).
The car will also feature valet parking assistance, 360 Audio, which is achieved through speakers that are built in every car seat, and a large panoramic dash screen "for driving information and entertainment." Kenichiro Yoshida also said, “We believe that the evolution of mobility will also redefine cars as a new entertainment space.”
Sony’s priority with this product is to focus on the safety and comfort of the passengers, that is why the Vision-S can accelerate and brake itself, but passengers will still need to monitor the systems while driving.
The maximum speed of the Vision-S is 149 mph and it takes the car 4.8 seconds to go from 0 to 62 mph. The vehicle will be connected to the Internet and therefore receive software updates constantly.
"It's not an exaggeration to say that mobile has been the mega-trend of the last decade. I believe the next mega-trend will be mobility," said Sony's CEO.
Although the concept of the electric car is quite surprising, there’s still no information on whether Sony plans to take the product to market or not. The Vision-S concept might only be a model for showing mobility developments.