Sony Announces New Mobility Division, Showcases Vision-S Prototype
Electric cars and autonomous technology are giving companies outside of the automotive industry a chance to enter the scene and compete against traditional brands. Last year, Sony revealed a concept car called the Vision-S. It was an electric sedan with serious technology like 33 sensors, LiDAR, a 360-degree audio system, and a panoramic screen acting as the dashboard. At the time, Sony didn't make any claims that the Vision-S would be put into production. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sony introduced a new car that could hit the market in the future.
Vision-S 02 Could Be Production Ready
The newest concept vehicle from Sony is called the Vision-S 02. The vehicle clearly has a lot of the same design elements as the Vision-S, but it's different in one major way — it's an SUV that can seat up to seven people. Similar in size to the Tesla Model Y, the Vision-S 02 clearly hits on everything consumers are currently looking for in a vehicle.
Sony's staying quiet on the Vision-S 02's details, but the SUV features a dual-motor configuration with all-wheel drive, around 500 horsepower, and a weight of 5,467 pounds. Battery size and range have not been announced yet. If it wants to compete with Tesla, the Vision-S 02 will have to have a range of around 300 miles, at the very least.
On the inside, the overall design is very similar to what we saw with the Vision-S. A large panoramic screen acts as the dashboard and is made up of three individual screens. The passengers in the back get their own screens that can play PlayStation games. There's seating for up to seven, though the SUV can also be configured with four seats.
Sony Mobility Will Focus On EVs
Just like the Vision-S, the Vision-S 02 looks like a polished concept vehicle. It doesn't look like It's too far off from being a production vehicle. And, the Vision-S 02 comes at the same time Sony announced the launch of Sony Mobility, a new company that focuses on electric vehicles. Having a single company with a focal point on EVs all but highlights Sony's decision to enter the EV scene.
"We are exploring a commercial launch of Sony's EV," said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony. Part of exploring the launch of an EV involves Sony looking into was it can "redefine mobility." "With our imaging and sensing, cloud, 5G and entertainment technologies combined with our contents mastery, we believe Sony is well positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility," said Yoshida.
While the world continues to question whether Apple will come out with an autonomous vehicle, Sony's getting to work on something that it can actually sell now — an electric SUV for the family.
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