Sony & Honda Officially Unveils Joint EV Venture “Afeela”

Expected to Launch in North America by 2026

The Afeela new EV concept was introduced by Sony and Honda’s joint mobility business on Wednesday at Sony’s presentation at CES in Las Vegas. The brand will be on the joint venture’s first electric vehicle that will be sold in North America in 2026

Image: The Verge

The CEO of Sony Honda Mobility, Yasuhide Mizuno, claimed the vehicle will draw on Sony’s expertise in artificial intelligence, entertainment, virtual reality, and augmented reality to deliver a distinctive EV: 

Afeela represents our concept of an interactive relationship where people feel the sensation of interactive mobility and where mobility can detect and understand people and society by utilizing sensing and AI technologies.” 

-Yasuhide Mizuno 

In order to improve the car’s capacity for object detection and autonomous driving, more than 40 sensors, including cameras, radar, ultrasonic, and lidar, will be integrated across the outside of the vehicle. Afeela will make an effort to exemplify the three key concepts of autonomy, augmentation, and affinity, claims Mizuno.

The idea that Sony initially introduced at CES three years ago was not much like the prototype that was displayed on stage. Instead, it was a sedan with a high-gloss black roof, a light bar across the front, and an enclosed grille. Some of the more intriguing external elements were black hubcaps and a light accent over the wheel wells. The Afeela prototype was compared by a number of onlookers as a cross between the Porsche 911 and the Lucid Air.

Image: The Verge

The new EV will be priced to rival models from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, and Audi as well as other luxury manufacturers. According to Sony, its software will likely provide subscription services, meaning car owners would probably have to pay a monthly charge to access certain functions. 

Image: The Verge

One of the concepts for the Honda-Sony vehicle included a fully integrated PS5 for gaming and entertainment. According to Yasuhide Mizuno, chair of Sony Honda Mobility and senior managing officer of Honda, the plan was to “develop a car as hardware that will cater to the entertainment and network we would like to offer,” he said in an interview late last year. 

In other words, Sony views automobiles, namely electric vehicles (EVs), as a critical platform for the development of its future tech and entertainment offerings. However, it is not content to create its operating system similarly to Apple’s and Google’s, or to license  its hardware and software to automakers. It also wishes to participate in the design and development process which has been provided by Honda.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Muhammad Zuhair


Passionate about technology and gaming content, Zuhair focuses on analysing information and then presenting it to the audience.
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