Sony and Honda’s cooperative venture revealed a new electric vehicle model named Afeela at Sony’s display at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The name of this brand will be featured on the first EV to be produced by the joint venture, which is expected to be available in North America by 2026.
Although there is still not a lot of detail available about the recent product launch, Yasuhide Mizuno, the CEO of Sony Honda Mobility, declared that the electric car will take advantage of Sony’s proficiency in artificial intelligence, entertainment, virtual reality, and augmented reality to offer something extraordinary.
Afeela stands for our idea of a collaborative connection in which individuals experience the sensation of active movement.
Mizuno stated that Afeela stands for our concept of a dynamic connection where people sense the feeling of interactive motion and where motion can recognize and comprehend humans and their society through applying sensing and artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
More than 40 detectors, comprised of cameras, radar, ultrasonic, and lidar, will be placed around the outside of the car, increasing its capacity to recognize things and drive itself. As per Mizuno, Afeela will strive to represent three fundamental concepts, which include autonomy, augmentation, and affinity.
At the launch event, the prototype that was revealed seemed to differ significantly from the design which had been first showcased by Sony at the Consumer Electronics Show three years ago. It was a sedan with a bright strip along the front, a grille that was completely shut off, and a glossy black roof. There were black hubcaps and a decorative element above the wheel wells which drew attention. A few people observed that the Afeela prototype resembled a combination of the Porsche 911 and the Lucid Air.
The cost of the freshly-introduced electric vehicle will be on par with other high-end car companies such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, and Audi. Sony declared that they anticipate their software to offer memberships, implying that users will most likely need to pay a monthly charge to gain access to specific features.
At CES three years ago, Sony made a big impression with the introduction of their glossy concept car – the Vision-S. It had a plethora of large infotainment screens, as well as a focus on music and amusement. The Vision-S was intended to give people an idea of what it would be like if Sony actually created a car, yet the company made it clear that the idea was only a demonstration and they weren’t actually intending to manufacture a car.
It was eventually revealed that the initial reports were not completely accurate. At the beginning of 2022, it was announced that Sony and Honda had decided to come together to manufacture and offer electric cars to the public. They selected one of Honda’s 12 factories in the US to build the vehicles, but there have been no details revealed about the number of cars they plan to make. The EV is going to be available in the US in 2026, with Japan and Europe following shortly after. It is expected that preorders will commence in 2025.
Ideas have been suggested for the Honda-Sony car that would include an integrated PlayStation 5 which could be used for gaming and entertainment. Yasuhide Mizuno, the chair of Sony Honda Mobility and senior managing officer at Honda, said in an interview late last year that the objective was to develop a car that could provide the entertainment and network services they would like to offer.
Sony perceives automobiles – and electric vehicles particularly – as a critical basis for the future of its technology and amusement items. Yet, it isn’t content with only licensing its hardware and software to automakers, or constructing its operating system like Apple and Google. It also desires to have an input in the design and development process. Fabricating cars is extremely dangerous and costly, particularly for an entity that has never done it before. Just examine Dyson. Just because you fabricate really excellent products that are not cars, it does not mean those same abilities will automatically carry over to the automotive field.