Perhaps one of the biggest surprises this year was the unveiling of a prototype electric car by Japanese consumer electronics brand Sony. The car, known as the Vision-S, made its debut at CES 2020 in Las Vegas all the way back in January, and is the first ever vehicle to bear the company’s branding.
Sony initially said that the prototype was made to showcase its technology to car manufacturers, rather than a sign of it entering the automotive market. However, it appears that the company could be reconsidering that decision, and is further exploring what the Vision-S is capable of.
In a video announcement uploaded to Sony’s official YouTube channel, it is revealed that the prototype car has arrived at their HQ in Tokyo. With the Vision-S there, the company plans to use it to “advance their sensing and audio technologies”. It added that the car is also currently undergoing development in preparation for road testing within this year.
To recap, the Vision-S sports Level 2 autonomous driving capabilities supported by 33 sensors, which consist of CMOS image sensors and ToF sensors. These will assist the car to detect and recognise people, as well as objects inside and outside of the car. Other features include a panoramic touch screen as part of its dashboard, coupled with the company’s 360 Reality Audio system.
The car is an all-wheel drive vehicle, and is equipped with dual 200kW engines that are located at its front and rear. Sony claims that the Vision-S is capable of hitting a top speed of 240km/h, and could achieve 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds.
Only time will tell whether the Japanese company will actually make its debut into the automotive scene. And maybe one day when someone compliments your ride, you could reply to them by saying “It’s a Sony.”