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From PlayStation to Cars: Sony’s Plan to Turn EVs Into Money-Making Machines
More and more tech giants are trying to expand their businesses into the automotive market, and while Apple and Xiaomi are actively working on such plans, one surprising name joined CES this month with a major announcement on this front.

From PlayStation to Cars: Sony’s Plan to Turn EVs Into Money-Making Machines

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It’s Sony, the company mostly known for the PlayStation consoles that completely revolutionized living room entertainment over the last decade.

Sony attended the tech show in Las Vegas with its very own Vision-S 02 SUV, an electric project started two years ago and which the company sees as the foundation of a business that would eventually turn into a multi-million-dollar unit.Going after Apple and Tesla
Sony’s ambitions in the car industry come down to investments in pretty much the same recipe pioneered by Tesla and now embraced by Apple too.

The company wants to build EVs that would eventually evolve into self-driving vehicles with a significant focus on technology. 5G connectivity will play a critical role in Sony’s long-term automotive strategy, as the company sees the transformation of the car market similar to the one of smartphones.

Izumi Kawanishi, the senior general manager who will manage the Sony Mobility unit in charge of EVs, recently told Reuters that the evolution of cars is likely to follow in the footsteps of the mobile revolution. Dumb phones rapidly became smart devices, and the same way will happen to cars, Kawanishi said.

Needless to say, Sony wants to be part of this transformation, and this is the reason it’s investing big in electric vehicles.

The first project

Launched two years ago, Sony’s first EV project got to see the daylight at CES earlier this month.

The Vision-S 02 is an SUV obviously based on the Vision-S 01, though the tech capabilities have been further expanded with entertainment upgrades in the cabin. Power comes from a dual-motor setup rated at 400 kW (around 536 hp), with a 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) acceleration time well below 5 seconds.

The Vision-S 02 comes with everything you’d expect on a futuristic EV, including a full-width display that doubles as a digital dashboard.

Of course, this is just a concept for the time being, but it’s pretty clear where Sony is aiming. The company wants to build an EV focused entirely on new-gen tech that would excel in terms of infotainment and entertainment in the cabin. In some regards, Sony wants to build a PlayStation on wheels, and this makes perfect sense given the company has long been the dominating name in the gaming console business.

The current struggles

Just like Apple, Sony is now seeking partners to help turn its EV ambitions into a real thing. The company is willing to work with both tech companies and traditional carmakers, though finding the right partners for the job will undoubtedly be a challenge.

Apple has so far reached out to several automakers, including Hyundai and BMW, for the production of the Apple Car. More often than not, the iPhone company ended up hitting a roadblock after traditional carmakers refused to play the role of a contract manufacturer for a vehicle that would eventually compete against their own models.

Sony’s concepts have so far been made by Magna International, the same company that’s working with car giants like BMW and Mercedes. Magna is also believed to be in pole position for the manufacturing of the Apple Car as part of a joint venture with LG.

But right now, nobody knows for sure how exactly Sony will manage to make its EV dream come true.

At first glance, Sony will go through the same struggles as Apple, though on the other hand, the Vision-S 02 could be a sign the project has already reached an advanced stage where many of these problems have been resolved.

There’s no ETA as to when Sony plans to begin the mass production of its EVs but given the Apple Car is expected to land in 2025 at the earliest, expect more tech giants to be aiming for a similar timeframe for their vehicles.

 
 
 
 
 

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