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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Sony Vision-S: Still no ‘concrete plans’ despite ongoing development

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Will Sony build an electric car? If it does, the company will be hoping it’ll be more commercially successful than its smartphones.

In an interview with Automotive News, Izumi Kawanishi, Sony’s executive vice president in charge of its AI Robotics group, said: “We don’t have a concrete plan at this time because our current phase is a research and development phase.

“We have to investigate what is our purpose in contributing to mobility service. That is our basic idea, and we have to continue the R&D phase.”

The Vision-S made its debut at CES 2020, and looks remarkably production ready.

Despite repeated claims that it won’t be putting the car into production, Sony has continued to develop the car, including road and track testing.

According to Kawanishi there are still no plans to mass produce the Vision-S, but there will be more details announced at CES 2022, which takes place in early January.

The concept was developed with the help of Magna Steyr, a contract manufacturer based in Graz, Austria, and was said to be a rolling test bed for the company’s automotive-ready technology, including vehicle detection, audio and infotainment.

Kawanishi hinted that may still be the case for continuing development of the Vision-S, as the company wants to “understand the opportunity and build the right cabin system” to make use of Sony’s extensive movie, music and gaming library.

The Vision-S also has all the technology — including LIDAR, radar, cameras, and uasonic sensors — for Level 2 autonomous driving.

With future software updates, the company claims it can achieve Level 4 autonomy.

The Sony Vision-S concept is 4895mm long, 1900mm wide, 1450mm tall, and rides on a 3000mm wheelbase. 

With a 200kW electric motor fitted to each axle, the Vision-S has a claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.8 seconds, and a top speed of 240km/h.

Do you think Sony should build the Vision-S, or will it be a money pit that the electronics giant needs to avoid?

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