But you won't see it on the road anytime soon.
We recently reported that Sony didn't know what it was going to do with its Vision-S EV concept. It seemed strange at the time, considering that designing, developing, and building a working prototype was not a cheap exercise. As we predicted earlier this month, the company will use its extensive experience in the technology industry to improve car interiors with advanced technologies.
A Sony spokesperson revealed as much to The Drive recently. Shinchi Tobe stated that Sony is using the Vision-S to get a foot in the door of the rapidly changing automotive landscape.
Some of the technology Sony has a history with is already available in some cars. Examples include over-the-air updates and 5G. Upcoming technologies include car-to-car communication and next-generation sensors. These are all technologies Sony has already developed and could further develop for use in cars.
Sony's most significant contribution to the world so far is arguably the Playstation. Once autonomous driving arrives, what are the passengers going to do? We're not suggesting every car will have a Playstation 5 simply because autonomous driving is still years away from being introduced. By that time, the PSX will likely be available. But Sony could lend a hand with in-car entertainment, which would no longer be limited to watching movies or playing basic games on a touchscreen.
Speaking of, Sony could lend a helping hand when it comes to touchscreens. Automotive manufacturers have tried for decades to emulate the smartphone experience, and so far, not one of them has entirely succeeded - and yes, we include the Tesla Model S in that statement. Sony has the potential to work wonders with the human/car interface.
According to Tobe, Sony built the Vision-S to strengthen its contribution to the evolution of mobility. Basically, the Vision-S exists so Sony can see what it can do to improve the car ownership experience, whether it be improving radar-guided cruise control or in-car entertainment.
We admire Sony's commitment to the cause. It could have gone out and purchased an entire fleet of cars to which they could retrofit the tech, but it built a car from scratch. This no-compromise approach will likely result in the next generation of in-car features that Sony could sell to manufacturers.
As for the actual car, we don't believe it will ever see the light of day. The market is flooded with new EV companies, not to mention other tech companies wanting to get in on the game. Tesla continues to dominate the market, but legacy manufacturers like Ford are infiltrating the EV market in a big way. That's without mentioning startups like Rivian and Lucid which are both on the brink of introducing their first models.
It seems Sony is set to become a supplier to the automotive industry. This is hardly a bad gig, especially if it improves the vehicles you and I ultimately drive off the showroom floor.