Sony and Honda Introduce New Car Brand Afeela at Consumer Electronics Show

For about 55 years, the city of Las Vegas has played host to the largest gathering of electronics companies known as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Held every January since 1967, the show is a chance for tech companies to show off their latest wares to the masses.
Afeela 8 photos
Photo: Sony Media YouTube
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One of the omnipresent companies at the show is the Tokyo, Japan-based Sony. From the introduction of the Sony Walkman and Play Station to its emergence into the music and entertainment business, the company is certainly a household name.

To kick off this year's show, Sony's press conference included a presentation by the CEO of Sony Honda Mobility, Yasuhide Mizuno. The joint venture between Honda Motors and the electronics giant unveiled what appeared to be a follow-up to its 2021 Vision-S prototype, as the first prototype of their new car brand.

The new brand dubbed 'Afeela' was presented against a backdrop of the new name and logo. It sounds like an odd name for a vehicle brand and Mizuno San did not discuss the moniker other than to say the word 'feel' is central to the mobility experience the company wants to create.

One of the most distinctive visual aspects of the prototype they introduced that was immediately obvious was what the company calls the 'Media Bar,' which spans the distance between the headlights. This feature will utilize light to communicate with people around it.

Though not much was revealed about the vehicle, we did learn that the prototype sports 45 sensors and cameras mounted inside and out, enabling Level 2 driver assistance capabilities with plans to graduate to Level 3.

The Afeela brand will take advantage of Sony's experience and offer best-in-class entertainment inside the car. Qualcomm Snapdragon chips will power Afeela's tech, while Epic Games' Unreal Engine will handle the graphic interface duties.

"For the design, we are taking an approach that aims to set new value standards for mobility as we evolve automotive design to focus not only driving dynamics and performance, but also on software networks and interfaces," Mizuno said. "We want to think out of the box to revisit the underlying philosophy of vehicle design."

The Afeela models will be built in the U.S., presumably at Honda's planned electric vehicle manufacturing hub in Ohio. The CEO did offer up some detailed news on when we might see Afeela cars on the road. Pre-orders are slated to begin in the first half of 2025, with actual sales commencing before the year's end. Deliveries will kick off in North America in the spring of 2026.

It is not clear what role, if any, Honda dealers will have in selling Afeela vehicles. Reports that surfaced last October indicated Sony Honda Mobility intends to sell the vehicles online.

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