Sony took the automotive and technology worlds by surprise today at CES 2020, rolling out a fully functional prototype electric vehicle, it developed as part of its Vision-S mobility initiative.
The Japanese electronics maker is known for developing a variety of creations that many might consider outside of its “lane,” particularly robots. In fact, the team that developed its robotic dog Aibo also produced the car.
The concept car, which bears a bit of a resemblance to the Porsche Taycan, doesn’t actually have a name; however, Sony officials noted during a press conference the vehicle’s been completely road tested, and it meets all safety regulations.
Vision-S is a mobility program that displays Sony’s capability in producing sensors, imaging and in-vehicle entertainment. In fact, it supplies some or all of these products to various Japanese automakers. However, following the trend in the auto industry, it’s attempting move toward production of all-in-one systems that can be sold at a higher profit, while easing the burden on automakers.
The concept uses 33 sensors around the vehicle to detect people and other vehicles – inside and outside the vehicle – to help provide “driving support.” It also features several widescreen displays, the company’s 360 Reality Audio and always-on connectivity. Though the company put the system together, some of the components come from auto industry suppliers like Bosch, Nvidia, Continental and BlackBerry.
The electric vehicle platform, which the company produced with the help of Magna, is somewhat of a mystery as no details about the type of batteries or driving range were provided. However, it does boast a pair of 268-horsepower (200-kilowatt) electric motors enabling a 0 to 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds with a top speed of 149 mph.
Additionally, Sony officials did say it could power more than just a car, SUVs and crossovers are candidates for the new system.