Electronics company Sony set music fans on the move with the Walkman; more than four decades after the cult cassette player, the Japanese are once again focusing on mobility.
At the CES technology fair in Las Vegas, Sony presented the Vision-S 02 study, an electric SUV with lots of technical details on board.
And the entertainment specialists mean it: a new subsidiary called “Sony Mobility Inc.” is to be founded in the spring, according to CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. This subsidiary is to examine a commercial market launch of the vehicles.
Obviously, because at Sony they know their way around electronics, image sensors and batteries. And new e-cars are full of technical pastimes, huge screens and battery packs, sensors for assistance systems, the vehicles communicate with each other and with the cloud.
The Vision-S 02 is spacious, with space for up to seven passengers over a length of 4.89 meters. A 200 kW (272 PS) electric motor on the front and rear axles ensures a brisk start. Further technical data are currently not known, Sony is still keeping a low profile with information on battery size or maximum range.
Abundant: the entertainment for the passengers. Sony promises, among other things, the integration of video streaming and the in-house game console Playstation – as soon as cars can drive autonomously, occupants in the extended living room go on vacation!
Sony has teamed up with Vodafone when it comes to 5G networking – a crucial key technology for the autonomous cars of the future. The first attempts have already been successful.
For example, a Sony test car did its laps in Aldenhoven in North Rhine-Westphalia and was controlled by a person at the other end of the world via 5G communication. The “driver” sat more than 9,000 kilometers away in Tokyo, Japan, and steered from a mobile driver’s cab.
A current trend! The shift in the automotive industry towards electric and connected vehicles opens the door for electronics companies. They have competencies in software and user guidance, are familiar with chips and battery technology.
There has been speculation about for years Apple plans to launch its own electric car. So far, we only definitely know that the iPhone group is testing technology for autonomous driving. In Las Vegas, LG also presented the vision for an autonomous vehicle called the Omnipod. The Robotaxi concept should, among other things, be able to be used as an entertainment capsule or mobile office.
The future will tell if and when the Sony car will come. Perhaps Sony will revolutionize mobility, just like listening to music with the Walkman back then.