Sony may soon hit the roads with its electric carsVish Gainon January 5, 2022 at 13:04 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Sony, the world’s largest video game maker, is making a play for the electric vehicle (EV) space with plans to set up a new company called Sony Mobility this spring that will commercialise its prototype cars.

The Japanese giant has previously showed off its prototype EV, the Vision-S autonomous car, at the annual CES tech event in 2020. Today, Sony unveiled its latest prototype, the Vision-S 02, at CES 2022, with upgrades capitalising on Sony’s expertise in the entertainment and sensor space.

Sony Mobility will explore the commercial launch of its SUV and sedan prototype cars which are now being tested in the roads of Europe. The new company aims to use AI and robotics to create “a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis”.

Speaking ahead of the CES 2022 event, Sony chair and president Kenichiro Yoshida told a news conference attended by Reuters that he sees mobility as an “entertainment space” where passengers could chose individual entertainment options and use 5G internet connection.

“With our imaging and sensing, cloud, 5G and entertainment technologies combined with our contents mastery, we believe Sony is well positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility,” he said.

According to TechCrunch, Yoshida said at the conference in Las Vegas that the Vision-S has been developed on “a foundation of safety, adaptability and entertainment” with safety given the highest priority. The SUV has 40 sensors installed inside and outside of the EV to monitor safety.

Share prices of the company jumped by 4.2pc after news of the announcement was made public, according to Reuters.

Traditional car makers and other technology companies have all shown interest in autonomous cars, with firms such as Ford, Audi and BMW entering the space in recent years. Tesla, now the world’s largest car maker, exclusively sells electric cars and has a line of EVs with autopilot. Apple, too, is secretively working on a self-driving car.

Last month, Japanese car giant Toyota announced that it was committing to becoming an all-electric car maker by the end of the decade, in a $70bn move.

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