In what must be a jaw-dropping moment for the media covering Sony’s press conference at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 at Las Vegas, a prototype vehicle – presumably all-electric given how silently it crept next to Sony Corporation President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida on stage, brought a fitting end to his keynote address.
According to Yoshida, the Vision-S prototype ‘embodies Sony’s contribution to the future of mobility’, specifically in the fields of safety, reliability, comfort and entertainment.
The four-door with a coupe-like profile (which bears similarities to a Tesla Model 3 in look, but with dimensions of the Model S) incorporates Sony’s imaging and sensing technologies, as well as on-board software powered by Sony-developed AI, telecommunication and cloud technologies.
The Vision-S is armed with 33 sensors including CMOS image sensors and ToF (Time of Flight) sensors to detect and recognise human and objects inside and outside the car. Sony is also keen to ‘redefine the car as an entertainment space’ and has given it a ‘360 Reality’ audio system with speakers built into each seat.
Like so many concepts shown at recent motor shows, a full-width digital screen dominates the Vision-S’s dashboard, while the rear occupants get dedicated displays mounted at the back of the front seat headrests.
Sony is silent as to the specifications of the Vision-S nor have they announced any intention to be a carmaker, but Yoshida did present a slide showing the partners who supported them in the making of the Vision-S, it included auto manufacturing and parts giants such as Magna, Bosch, Continental and ZF.
With world-class imaging, audio, display, telecommunication and gaming technologies already in hand, and traditional auto manufacturers saddled with legacy manufacturing and workforce, who is to say Sony can’t pull this off?
(Images used in the article above are screen grabs from Sony’s press conference at CES 2020)
More technical information is now available via sony.net, it would appear that the Vision-S is powered by dual electric motors (one on each axle) rated at 200 kW or 272 hp each, for a combined total of 544 hp. The Vision-S rides on double-wishbone air suspension and weighs a hefty 2,350 kg; idle to 100 km/h takes 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 240 km/h. Range and battery capacity are not divulged, however.
Image gallery of the Sony Vision-S