We haven’t heard of Sony’s electric car for a long time, but at CES 2022 the Japanese company unveiled a new electric SUV called the Vision-S 02 in addition to the well-known Sony Vision-S 01 electric sedan.
Two years ago, Sony announced the Vision-S initiative at CES 2020, which opened up Sony’s ambitions towards electric cars. By the end of 2020, the electronics company had also begun testing on public roads and testing the human-machine interface (HMI). In April 2021, networking tests began using the new 5G cellular technology.
Perhaps, after so many tests, the Japanese company is close to a turning point. An SUV prototype called the Vision-S 02 was made public. The model can accommodate seven passengers, and for this reason it has a length of 4.89 meters. Sony claims that Vision-S 02 uses the same platform as Vision-S 01, which, as mentioned, it seems that it is still being tested on public roads. The length and wheelbase (3.03 meters) are identical to the Vision-S 01. The exterior design between the two vehicles is also very similar. The roofline drops sharply at the rear, and this turns into a trunk behind the probably not too big third row of seats. The roof is fully glazed.
The fully electric motorization is the same as already announced for the S 01: two 200 kW motors create a 400 kW all-wheel drive system. This should allow to the SUV to reach 180 km / h, while the streamlined and lighter sedan should reach 240 km / h.
Vision-S 02, Sony’s DNA on display inside
Even if we are talking about an electric car, Sony has not forgotten its DNA, and what made it famous in the world: consumer electronics. The large interior of the SUV is apparently intended to bring out the multimedia qualities that the Japanese company is able to offer, even better than the relatively small interior of the sedan.
The passenger compartment, in fact, is dominated by the presence of various displays. There are three large format monitors facing each other and the rear passengers also have a dedicated display. Videos can be viewed on the video streaming system Sony Bravia Core, and all passengers can decide whether to see the same program or a different one. If you have a Sony PlayStation you can also play, via a remote connection with the console installed at home. The audio system supports tecnologia 360 Reality Audio from Sony, which is supposed to make the music sound like it’s coming from many different directions.
In total, the Vision-S 02 has no less than 40 sensorsthe. Inside there are cameras for driver authentication and gesture control. Instead of the exterior mirrors, the car has cameras whose images are displayed on the left and right of the dashboard, as can be seen on the Sony website. Radar, numerous cameras and four lidar sensors are responsible for recording what is happening in the surrounding environment.
Sony Vision-S 02 will come with autonomous driving at level 2+, which means that the car will park without the aid of the driver, and will take care of lane changes automatically. According to Sony, the electric SUV should also feature level 4 autonomous driving via software updates in the future. These updates are available more generally over the air and the vehicle also connects to the cloud via the 5G mobile network.
To take the electric car project forward, Sony plans to create an automotive division called Sony Mobility Inc. which should become operational in the spring of 2022. This, as explained in Sony, will have the task of “examining an entry into the electric vehicle market”, to confirm the company is still unsure of making the leap into the automotive market.