Sony announces a new electric vehicles unit at the CES and has also unveiled a prototype SUV on Tuesday night. After first entering the plans in 2020, Sony finally enters a new phase, with the announcement of a seven-seat SUV like Vision-S02.
In a statement, the Japanese conglomerate said Sony Mobility will “aim to make the best use of AI and robotics technologies, help realize a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis, fill people with emotion, and contribute to society.” The unit is expected to launch this spring.
It’s unclear if the vehicles will be mass-produced, but “We are exploring a commercial launch of Sony’s EV,” Sony Chairman and Chief Executive CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said at a CES news conference Tuesday night.
“Safety has been our No. 1 priority in creating a comfortable mobility experience,” Yoshida said. “That has not changed when building this SUV. A total of 40 sensors are installed inside and outside of the vehicle to monitor safety.” The VISION-S 02 will use a wide range of safety features featuring Sony’s in-house technologies, including “high-sensitivity, high-resolution, wide dynamic range CMOS image sensors and LiDAR sensors that accurately sense three-dimensional space.”
Testing on European roads
The vehicle will also be 5G enabled, have a 3-D sound system, and will let passengers play PlayStation videogames through a digital video service. Sony said it is currently conducting road tests in Europe toward the release of Level 2 advanced driver-assistance systems.
The concept has sensors installed 360 degrees around it. These sensors include high-sensitivity, high-resolution, wide dynamic range CMOS image sensors and LiDAR sensors that accurately sense three-dimensional space. Additionally, the system provides intuitive driver interaction in conjunction with the vehicle’s sound system and HMI system. So the driver can accurately judge the status of the surrounding environment, such as the presence of emergency vehicles, even from inside the vehicle.
Sony describes the business objectives of the ‘Sony Mobility Inc’ as: The new company will aim to make the best use of AI and robotics technologies, help realize a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis, fill people with emotion, and contribute to society. With Vision-S, which contributes to the evolution of mobility, together with the autonomous entertainment robot aibo, and the drone Airpeak, Sony will seek to continue to create new value in a variety of fields.