Sony might not be entering the retail automotive space anytime soon and is, instead, using its Vision-S electric concept as a test bed for future technologies, especially autonomous driving.
Electronics giant Sony took everyone by surprise at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 when it showed an electric car named Vision-S. At the recently held digital CES 2021, the company revealed that its EV is undergoing public road testing in Austria to evaluate safety.
This news made most auto enthusiasts excited for a Sony electric car at a time when tech giant Apple is also readying its electric offering. However, a report by Car and Driver pours cold water on this expectation. The publication reports that Sony will not mass produce its Vision-S EV and thus, it is not meant for the public roads.
Sony is rather using the Vision-S as a test bed for future technologies, especially autonomous driving. The EV makes use of 40 sensors. "With mobility expected as a major megatrend into the future, we’re exploring how Sony can contribute in a meaningful way to the era of autonomous driving," a Sony spokesperson was quoted as saying.
The company is making use of its knowledge across many aspects of its business such as cameras, computing and entertainment. The idea also is to leverage entertainment in the mobility space. "Through our strengths in imaging and sensing, we (also) aim delivering a powerful experience in entertainment for mobility space," the spokesperson was further quoted as saying. Sony's long-term goal is to add a PlayStation for online gaming in vehicles along with a 5G connection.
The electronics company is also working towards a 360-degree Reality Audio inside its Vision-S. This will create an audio sphere around the occupants of the car, using speakers in the headrests, in order to provide optimized audio for everyone inside.
The report makes it clear that Sony does not plan to enter the retail automotive space as of now and is using its electric prototype to be a part of the autonomous-vehicle future. Even though there might not be Sony-branded cars, its technologies could make way into the future of mobility.