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During Sony’s presentation at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday, they showed off a new prototype electric vehicle (EV) called the Afeela. This is part of a joint venture between Sony and Honda. The brand will be the first electric car made by the joint venture. It will go on sale in North America in 2026.
Much is still unknown about the new brand, but Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno said the car would use Sony’s expertise with AI, entertainment, virtual reality and augmented reality to make a unique EV.
Read More: CES 2023 Technology Conference
“Afeela represents our idea of an interactive relationship where people feel the sense of interactive mobility, and where mobility can sense and understand people and society through the use of sensing technologies and artificial intelligence,” said Mizuno.
More than 40 sensors, such as cameras, radar, ultrasound and lidar, will be incorporated into the exterior of the car. This will make it better for you to see objects and drive yourself. Mizuno says that Afeela will try to represent three main ideas: autonomy, augmentation and affinity.
Also read: Does Honda make good cars?
The prototype Sony showed off on stage didn’t look much like the idea Sony first showed off at CES three years ago. Instead, this was a sedan with a light bar up front, an enclosed grille, and a gloss black roof. Some of the more interesting things on the exterior were the black hubcaps and the slight accent over the wheel wells. Several people said that the Afeela concept looked like a cross between a Porsche 911 and a Lucid Air.
The new EV will be priced so that it can compete with cars from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo and Audi. Sony has said it wants its software to have subscription services, so car owners will likely have to pay a monthly fee to use certain features.
To know more: New car Honda Civic
Three years ago at CES, Sony surprised everyone with a fancy prototype called the Vision-S. The Vision-S was meant to show what a Sony-made car would look like, with infotainment screens all around and a focus on (what else?) music and entertainment. Which he told everyone he wasn’t planning to do.
Well, it turned out that that wasn’t exactly true. In early 2022, news broke that Sony and Honda were forming a business partnership to manufacture and sell electric cars on a large scale. The Sony-Honda cars will be built at one of Honda’s 12 US plants, but Honda hasn’t said how many they plan to build. The EV will first be sold in the US in 2026, and then in Japan and Europe. People say that pre-orders will start in 2025.
Some of the ideas for the Honda-Sony car have included a fully integrated PS5 for gaming and entertainment. Yasuhide Mizuno, president of Sony Honda Mobility and a senior CEO of Honda, said in an interview late last year that the plan was to “develop a car like hardware that caters to the entertainment and network that we would like to offer. ”
In other words, Sony sees cars, especially electric vehicles (EVs), as a key platform for its technology and entertainment products in the future. But it’s not content to sell licenses to automakers for its hardware and software or create its own operating systems like Apple and Google. He also wants to have an opinion on how things are done and how they are done. Especially for a company that has never done it before, making cars is a very risky and expensive business. Let’s take Dyson as an example. Even if you make really good things that aren’t cars, that doesn’t mean you can use the same skills to make cars.
Honda, of course, is making its own line of electric vehicles. The first is the Prologue, which is being done with General Motors. The Prologue will be Honda’s first long-range EV for the North American market. It will go on sale in 2024. It is the first of 30 hybrid fuel cell and battery electric cars that Honda says it will bring to market by the end of the decade. Honda will use GM’s Ultium platform to power the Prologue and an unnamed Acura model for 2024 that is based on the Precision concept it showed off earlier this year.
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