Sony unveils its first car
CES 2020 at CES in Las Vegas. The Japanese electronic group will present a study of an electric sedan developed with the help of Austria and Germany. We watched the car live on the spot.
It’s no surprise that an electronics company like Sony is introducing new products at an event like the Consumer Electronics Show. At CES in Las-
In Vegas, the Japanese will present new developments for TV and Hi-Fi applications, as well as image and sensor technologies in the field of mobility. The latter is a General concept that cars pack in a kind of protective cocoon. Information from different sensors must be linked and coordinated so that the next step to Autonomous driving is successful.
Sony technologies inside and out
To illustrate all this, Sony-and it was amazing – brought a complete car to Las Vegas that already has this technology. Vision-s conceptual research uses all types of images and sensors, as well as artificial intelligence, telecommunications, and cloud technologies from its own group. A total of 33 sensors are installed outside only to detect people and objects inside and outside the car and to provide sophisticated driving support. Cameras were added instead of exterior mirrors. The aid level is currently at level 2+, but should be expanded to level 4 or more.
In the Vision interior, the panoramic screen evokes memories of the Byton M-Byte.
In General, the car was built around an infotainment system. The driver and passengers were the focus of the development and the question of how best to support and entertain them on the road, explains Yuhei Yabe, Vision-S project Manager and General Manager of Sony, who otherwise also deals with topics such as artificial intelligence and robotics.
How seriously Sony takes its Vision-S is also shown when we get in the car. Because in addition to the production-oriented stage, the entire interior of the car appears almost ready for mass production. Clean surfaces, a pleasant sense of space and a comfortable Seating position complete the first impression. Sony’s approach to participating in the project with experienced suppliers has had an impact. Because even the passengers in the back of the cabin have enough space for their feet and the ceiling, while the interior does not look arbitrary or standard.
Clean surfaces, a pleasant sense of space and a comfortable fit complete the first impression.
This is provided by two rotary buttons that are located between the front and rear seats and serve as additional input options for the infotainment landscape. An exciting approach, as even premium car manufacturers are slowly but surely saying goodbye to redundant touch-screen control concepts and mechanical controls with buttons or buttons for cost reasons.
However, at Sony, special emphasis was placed on the HMI (Human Machine Interface) theme, that is, on the usability of the car, explains Yasufumi Ogawa, one of the developers who worked on the project for Sony. “That’s why we chose this concept,” explains Ogawa. However, the Japanese are particularly proud of the network of three main monitors that extend across the dashboard and are framed to the left and right by two small screens of the camera’s exterior mirrors.
Passengers in the rear of the cabin have sufficient legroom and height, while the cabin does not look arbitrary or standard.
So the infotainment system is almost already developed, he explains, when, during our demonstration, he strokes the razor-sharp LCD touch screen and thus pulls the film from the middle monitor to the passenger’s monitor. Does not twitch, does not twitch, as with a smartphone. This is where the electronics giant clearly demonstrates its advantages. And the logic of the work is also clear. The left monitor provides all the necessary information for the driver and provides information such as speed, route instructions, and the like when operating at level 2. In the middle monitor, the main menu items are placed in separate columns that you can open and expand by touching and swiping your fingers, or even inserting them into other monitors. For example, a passenger can select a movie on the middle screen and drag it directly to their screen with a swipe gesture.
This feature is especially relevant if a passenger wants to watch a movie, for example, while driving, without distracting them from the driver. This is also possible thanks to the “360 Reality Audio” sound concept, which works with speakers built into the seats. This should not only create a particularly good spatial sound, but also create the possibility that each passenger can listen to different music or movies. For this purpose, the rear passengers also have their own screens. In addition, the car must always be connected to the Internet, also to enable software updates “over the air”.
Specially designed e-car platform
Together with Magna Steyr from Austria, German suppliers Bosch, Continental and ZF, as well as many other specialists, the Sony Vision-S is based on a specially developed platform. The four-door hatchback with a large panoramic sunroof is equipped with two 200 kW electric motors each; the total power is 400 kW / 536 HP. the four-Wheeler must be able to accelerate from zero to a hundred in 4.8 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 240 km / h. the Platform must also be able to accommodate other body shapes. Coupes are just as conceivable as minivans or SUVs, Sony says.
The four-door hatchback with a large panoramic sunroof is equipped with two electric motors.
The images show that the developers placed a large and flat battery in the car floor between the Sony Vision-s axes.however, the Japanese have not yet been able to provide additional information, such as the range of electric vehicles. Similarly, the shared future of the first Sony cars. In the past, the electronics group has stressed that it is not interested in producing its own car, but that it may involve working with a recognized car manufacturer.
Should Sony create Vision’s in the series?
Yes, of course. The more traffic in electric cars, the better. Please don’t. There are many manufacturers that are planning E-cars.
Vision-S already looks very specific and close to mass production. However, it is unlikely that Sony will soon become one of the automakers. More realistically, the Japanese wanted to demonstrate their expertise in security and consumer electronics in the automotive sector at CES. And this is especially striking when you imagine a full car.