As far as CES 2020 is concerned, you totally expect Sony to make an appearance with some new entertainment technology. PlayStation 5? I definitely expect to hear about that. Future high-tech surround sound systems and 8K TVs? Check. What you don’t really expect Sony to do is come out with an electric car concept, but here it is: The Sony Vision-S.
“This prototype embodies our contribution to the future of mobility,” CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said of Sony’s car. It’s built on a “newly-designed EV” platform, which could supposedly be expanded to SUVs.
According to the company’s release, the emphasis for the Vision-S isn’t really on its existence as a car. Instead, it’s meant to showcase the company’s camera and sensor technology, as well as AI, telecommunications and cloud connectivity.
One of the headlines of the Sony Vision-S is its 33 sensors to detect people and objects both inside and outside the car. Those include CMOS image sensors and time-of-flight cameras, which work by illuminating an object, then using the image sensors to analyze the reflected light. Apart from the sensors, the Sony Vision-S packs a thoroughly modern interior. Naturally, it incorporates Sony’s widescreen displays into the overall ecosystem, including a fully digital instrument cluster, infotainment system and rear seat displays.
Sony also touted its “360 Reality Audio” system. That aims for a deeper, more immersive entertainment experience using speakers integrated into the seats, which can “encapsulate” the passenger in sound.
Actual technical specs on the car itself were light, and Sony’s focus included more on offer than the Vision-S alone (i.e. the PlayStation 5 noted above, among other technology). So, the question of whether or not Sony will actually build it remains a mystery. It’s doubtful this was more than just a technical showcase at this point, but it does paint an interesting picture of the sort of tech we’ll soon see in our cars within the next decade.