Surprise - Sony is launching a vehicle

Sony Vision-S is a surprise car showcase of automotive tech

Sony's Vision S electric car is the surprise of CES 2020

Sony took the automotive and technology worlds by surprise today at CES 2020, rolling out a fully functional prototype electric vehicle, it developed as part of its Vision-S mobility initiative.

No one was expecting Sony's progress towards mobility especially at the time when the competition in the consumer electronics segment has hotter up.

Sony also partnered with other industry heavyweights like Bosch, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Continental, Gentex, ZF, and Benteler in developing the Vision-S Concept.

In an interview with Financial Times, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told the publication that the company is developing the "lidar" vision sensing technology - a crucial component of self-driving cars' safety and functionality.

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The prototype, called Vision-S, houses 33 sensors on and in the vehicle to help monitor its surroundings and those inside it. There is bothering on its commercial production as of now. The Vision-S now features Level 2 autonomy, but OTA updates can take this up to Level 4.

A highlight of the design is the 33 CMOS image sensors and Time-of-Flight sensors which are used to recognize people and objects in and around the vehicle. Sony, presumable, uses them to identify people, objects, traffic the vehicle. Sony, the company that used to define the old Consumer Electronics Show, this year at CES rolled out affordable 8K TVs, immersive audio, PS5 (logo only, gaming console to follow) ... and an electric concept auto.

The Sony Model S. Actually, Sony Vision-S.

We don't know much about the drivetrain as of yet, although it did enter the stage at Sony's Las Vegas CES presentation under its own steam, so it does at least have one.

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There aren't many non-car companies that we would trust making a vehicle. Those not only assist in tasks like autonomous driving and spotting road hazards but also detecting if the driver is nodding off. This allows for app-based remote control of the car's functions, with interlinking between the user's phone and vehicle. However, all its showcased features will surely make their way in our cars sooner rather than later.

Sony also flexed its audio-processing muscle and outfitted the auto with 360 Reality Audio. The front seats face a panoramic screen on which diverse content can be enjoyed through an intuitive user interface.

Sony references saloon cars, SUVs, MPVs and coupes.

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