Sony has unveiled an electric car at CES. It’s the prototype vehicle under Sony’s mobility efforts called the Vision-S initiative, and based on what the tech giant said during its press event, it was built to showcase the automotive technologies it developed and can offer. Sony teamed up with several companies such as Bosch, Continental, NVIDIA and Qualcomm, to create the prototype sedan.
It’s loaded with 33 sensors, most likely including ones that enable autonomous driving, 360 Reality Audio tech, wide-screen displays and other features. The company didn’t reveal much about Vision-S during the event, but we’ll get an even closer look at the concept vehicle later this week in Las Vegas. For now, here’s what else Sony is sharing about its CES surprise reveal.
The Vision-S prototype pulls together a lot of Sony’s imaging and sensing technologies, as well as the company’s developments in AI, telecommunication and cloud technologies.
They mentioned those 33 sensors, that are dotted around the interior and exterior of the vehicle. They include high-resolution, HDR-compatible CMOS image sensors (for road sensing, object detection and color identification, Solid State LiDAR (for day- and night-time vision and object detection) and radar for relative velocity detection and distance sensing.
Then there are Time of Flight (ToF) sensors embedded inside can detect and recognize people and objects inside and outside the car. (Those ToF sensors will also have a function with the onboard entertainment systems.) All these sensors and technology combined create what Sony is calling its “Safety Cocoon Concept” that can detect through 360 degrees around the car. The car’s autonomous driving skills are Level 2, at this stage.
This means the system can take full control of accelerating, braking and steering, but the driver needs to monitor the car respond if the system fails.
The car is a four-seater with two 200kW engines, and can go from 0-62 MPH in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 149 MPH.
The car also incorporates an array of electronics technologies that aim to offer comfort and an “unprecedented in-car entertainment experience”.
Sony hopes these features will help it “get closer to creators and users” by allowing them to “deliver reality”.
This includes a panoramic screen spanning the dashboard and the company’s 360 Reality Audio, which provides an immersive audio experience via speakers built into each seat.
Sony, however, didn’t confirm whether it had any plans to put the car into production. For the time being, the Vision-S acts as a demonstration of the firm’s electronics capabilities.