Sony did a lot of things at CES 2022, but one of the most interesting things that was swept under the rug was the announcement of their subsidiary company “Sony Mobility Inc.”, coming in the Spring of this year. This company will be the vessel for Sony’s exploration of the EV market.
Two years ago at CES 2020, Sony unveiled ‘Vision-S’, an all-electric car prototype that had promised to be fully autonomous. On December of the same year, Sony began testing the prototype on roads to gather data. Fast forward to April 2021 and Sony starts testing their 5G remote driving feature.
During their CES 2022 presentation, Sony announced a new addition to their EV prototype lineup, the Vision-S 02. This is an all-electric SUV that uses the same technology as the first Vision-S which is still being tested on public roads.
Before I tell you more about the vehicle, let’s talk about the name. ‘Vision-S’ is not exactly an original or interesting sounding name. It reminds me of the Tesla Model S, also a Level 2 autonomous EV. It also shares its name with Huawei’s Vision S TV that launched last year. Regardless, I’m just grateful they didn’t go full Sony and name it something like VSN-S-2000XM4.
The Vision-S 02 is equipped with both image and LiDAR sensors to run the autonomous part of the software. Sony is planning to license the Vision-S with Level 2+ drivers assistance and is running the road tests to get it done.
The interior includes three screens acting as the dashboard and infotainment system. These screens take up the full width of the vehicle. They also included sensors inside the SUV for driver authentication and navigation gestures. Being Sony, the speaker in this vehicle support “360 Reality Audio” and they even promise the ability to play PlayStation games remotely with a console at home.
From the outside, the SUV looks like a larger version of the original Vision-S, with generic curved contours and a sleek, modern finish.
Not much is known about the specifications, but the spec sheet says it weighs 2480kg, provides 400kW of power, and a Vmax of 180km/h.
Sony is taking advantage of the rise of 5G by powering the vehicle’s connectivity with a 5G network. Not only does it serve to update the software, but they’re experimenting with remote driving, enabling you to drive the vehicle in Germany while being controlled remotely from Japan.
The Vision-S vehicles are still concept cars, but unlike the Mercedes Vision Eqxx, Sony already made a prototype and have been testing it. We can’t be sure if the Vision-S 02 will hit the production line, but it’s very possible that Sony will come up with an EV soon under their new Sony Mobility subsidiary.