WATCH | Sony plays the game at CES with smart new concept car: Here's a virtual tour
The company that brought us TVs and PlayStations now tries its hand in the automotive game with a very hi-tech car
Sony unveiled something unexpected at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas: a car.
The same Sony that makes TVs and PlayStations? Yes, indeed. The consumer electronics giant is showcasing some in-car technology that may soon find its way into vehicles, but rather than just sticking its gadgetry into somebody else's existing car, Sony thought it would make more of a splash by building its own wheeled wonder.
The result is the Vision-S, a concept car in which Sony brings safety, entertainment and adaptability together during the riding and driving experience.
The four-door sedan's exterior design is quite generic, but it's the stuff inside that's interesting.
The electric vehicle is brimming with sensors, including cameras, lidar, radar and ultrasonic — electronic “eyes” that allow it to monitor the road and the traffic, and also the passengers inside.
The cameras and sensors give the car Level 2 driver-assistance features, such as self-parking and automatic lane changes — which is nothing new — but its software could be upgradeable to Level 4 autonomy, which is just one step short of sitting in the back seat and telling the car to drive you to the nearest KFC.
The cameras also recognise passengers and drivers when they approach the vehicle and can load individual presets.
The inside has been inspired by living rooms and will possibly act as one in the future, when cars are autonomous. The infotainment is served up in a supersized digital display stretching across the whole dashboard, and 360 Reality Audio provides theatre-quality sound from no less than 30 speakers, some of which are mounted in the seats.
There are monitors on both sides of the dashboard for the camera-operated side mirrors.
We don't know whether Sony has any plans to put its own car into production soon, but it did reveal that the concept car has a pair of 200kW electric motors that give it the ability to scoot from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds.