Sony wants to make electric cars
- Sony unveils Vision-S 02, a newer electric car prototype model at CES 2022
- Vehicle uses the same electric vehicle and cloud platform as its 2020 prototype.
- The electronics giant intends to explore entry into the EV market
Sony has become the latest producer of electric cars as it unveils its prototype model at CES 2022. The electric giant’s Vision-S 02 electric car is the latest prototype from the company as it looks to explore the rapidly growing market.
The Japanese firm, better known for its TVs and video game consoles, will create the Sony Mobility subsidiary in the first half of 2022 as it weighs entering the field. Sony joins a number of electric and tech companies that have shown interest and developed their own electric cars in recent times.
In Asia, more Chinese carmakers and tech companies are working together to get ahead in electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle production. Among them are China’s BYD and autonomous driving startup Momenta, which has entered a 100 million yuan (US$15.7 million) joint venture to deploy autonomous driving capabilities across certain BYD car model lines. Another carmaker, Jidu Auto, an EV venture between tech giant Baidu and automaker Geely, also announced that it would start mass production of its first “Robot” EV in 2023.
According to a statement by Sony, “the new company will aim to make the best use of AI and robotics technologies, help realizes 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.”
According to Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony’s chief executive officer the Vision-S 02 is a new version of the firm’s first prototype that has begun road testing. Through this new branch, the electronics giant intends to explore entry into the EV market.
This vehicle uses the same EV/cloud platform as the prototype (VISION-S 01), which is being tested on public roads. By offering entertainment experiences utilizing the large interior space and variations of a 7-seater, this new prototype will, together with VISION-S 01, promote the accommodation of a large variety of lifestyles within a society where values are becoming increasingly diversified.
To demonstrate the concept in the real world, Sony started public road testing in Europe in December 2020 for the Vision-S. Sony started verification tests of the safety and user experience of the imaging and sensing technology installed inside and outside the vehicle, and the human-machine interface (HMI) system. In April 2021, Sony began 5G driving tests and will continue to apply its cutting-edge technologies to provide new experiences in the realm of mobility, which is undergoing a shift to electric vehicles.
Globally, the electric vehicle sector is still growing. In the US, it only accounts for only about 3% of current sales but it is attracting a lot of interest and investment. For example, General Motors has planned to invest more than US$ 35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025.
Authorities in Asia, Europe, and the United States plan to spend billions of dollars to strengthen the network of charging stations or encourage individuals to abandon their fossil fuel-powered vehicles.
With additional reporting from Agence France-Presse
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