Sony electric car: new SUV concept debuts at CES 2022

The Japanese electronics brand is now seriously considering becoming an electric-car manufacturer in its own right

Sony Vision-S 02

Sony has unveiled a new electric-car concept at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Called the Vision-S 02, the electric SUV follows on from the Vision-S 01 saloon (see below), which was first shown at the same event in 2020 and has since been used as a development platform for automotive technology, including autonomous driving systems.

When it unveiled the Vision-S 01, Sony played down suggestions it would become a carmaker in its own right, instead indicating that the prototype would assist with the development of systems to be used on established car manufacturers' models.

Now, however, the Japanese company has stated: "in order to further accelerate and make new proposals that further evolve the mobility experience, Sony will establish an operating company in the spring of 2022, through which the company intends to explore entry into the EV market."

Sony Vision-S 02 concept

According to Sony, the 2022 Vision-S 02 concept sits on the same platform as the 2020 Vision-S 01 (below), but demonstrates how the architecture can underpin different car types. The 02 is a seven-seater family SUV that has the look of a Tesla Model Y rival.

Sony has grouped the technologies it's developing using the Vision-S concepts into three key areas: safety, adaptability and entertainment. On the safety front, the cars boast 360-degree sensor coverage and 'Level 2+' autonomous driving capability.

Elsewhere, adaptability is enhanced by voice-recognition system and custom user profiles that can be saved for a number of drivers. Over-the-air (OTA) software updates are also possible, while the Vision-S concepts also feature 360-degree surround-sound audio, plus digital video playback on the front and rear screens. PlayStation gaming by means of a remote connection to a home console is also being developed.

Sony Vision-S 01 concept

First revealed at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Vision-S 01 was shown taking to the road for the first time in a video released at the same event in 2021. The footage depicts the car undergoing testing in Austria wearing a light dazzle camouflage on its otherwise undisguised bodywork.

The Vision-S 01 follows the trend for luxurious, rakishly styled electric cars with plenty of performance. It uses a pair of electric motors that can propel it to 62mph from rest in 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 149mph.

On-board technology includes the Sony Safety Cocoon – an array of sensors that provide 360-degree coverage using next-generation systems like 'Solid State Lidar' to map out the car's surroundings.

Advanced gesture control is implemented inside the car, along with a large digital dashboard, advanced AI systems, rear-seat screens that give passengers a view of the road ahead, plus other clever touches.

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