Sony, a global technology leader, is the first tech company to announce its entry into the automotive industry by launching an electric vehicle company. In March 2022, the company used a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Honda in order to propose a new electric vehicle company: Sony Honda Mobility Inc.
According to Kenichiro Yoshida, the chairman, and president of the Japanese tech corporation, it is “exploring a commercial launch” of electric cars and will establish Sony Honda Mobility in the springtime. The company shares increased by 4.7% in Tokyo a day after Yoshida’s comments.
During a Sony media event for CES 2022, an important tech event, both the Sony Vision-S 01, a sedan EV prototype, and the Sony Vision-S 02, an SUV EV prototype, were displayed. However, the company refrained from providing any information about the production or delivery timelines, nor did it specify which model will be the company’s first EV.
The core software system of the EVs, including cloud-based services and in-car entertainment options, will be handled by Sony. The manufacturer of consumer electronics will also be in charge of creating a Level 3 autonomous driving technology for the vehicle.
Sony was the inaugural company to commercialize usage of the lithium-ion battery, which was developed by researchers at the University of Oxford and is today deployed in electric vehicles. It was this very technology that led to Sony’s success in the market of portable electronics, including laptops, music players, and video recorders.
Sony first unveiled its Vision-S concept to a great deal of wonder and much greater praise back in 2020.
But according to HT Auto, many in the industry speculated that the Vision-S 01 was merely meant to demonstrate what Sony could do concerning automotive tech, not a guarantee to enter the automobile market. Interestingly, the Sony Vision-S was also seen in trial drives on public roads not long after the worldwide display.
According to HT Auto, Sony’s sedan EV reportedly has up to 40 detectors to maximize its self-driving abilities. Sony has reported that the EV includes a massive infotainment screen, a 360-degree music option, allows 5G, and can download upgrades over the air.
But in terms of design, the Vision-S 01 bears a veiled resemblance to Porsche’s aesthetic. According to HT Auto, it is rumored to include an all-wheel drive system with a 536 horsepower twin motor that can reach over 60 mph in less than five seconds and tops out at 150 mph.
As the competition for a market share of electric car share deepens, Sony seems to be following the road taken by some tech giants. One of them is Apple, which is working on an EV named Project Titan. The arrival of tech startups might intensify the competition in the EV market at a time when conventional vehicle makers are trying to cut down on the edge that Tesla currently holds.