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Sony Vision-S Heads Home to Tokyo for Further Evolution

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas managed quite fast to steal the red carpet from underneath the classic North American International Auto Show in Detroit. And did it so well that NAIAS’ organizers moved the date while technology companies started building cars. And by that we mean Sony, not your garage-based autonomous vehicle startup. It was a surprise indeed, especially since the Vision-S is a fully functioning electric vehicle prototype.
Sony Vision-S 17 photos
Photo: Sony Corporation
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The Japanese corporation is well known for many things, but one could pinpoint a couple without even thinking – the PlayStation console environment and its movie business. Its history stretches way back to the first moments after the Second World War and my personal acquaintance to the Sony brand was made through one of its best (yet forgotten) innovations – the ubiquitous Walkman.

But Sony’s conglomerate arm stretches so far out in modern times it was no hustle for them to design and build in complete silence a technology development prototype car. The Vision-S concept is like a moving display for all of Sony’s mobility-related technologies, from ADAS (advanced driving assistance systems) features to luxury audio specifications and even movies.

The company amazed Las Vegas’ CES attendees with novelties such as the 360 Reality Audio speakers that were built into each seat, AI plus 5G and cloud technologies, not to mention the 33 sensors used for that advanced autonomous feature. We, on the other hand, were stunned to find out that while Sony has no intention to put a Vision-S car into series production, the prototype is fully functional.

This is because Sony was smart enough to partner with automotive component manufacturers such as Magna, Continental or Bosch. More so, the EV packs two electric motors good for 200 kW, AWD and an air suspension. With estimated performance ratings of 0-100 kph (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds and a 240 kph (149 mph) top speed, we could easily see it compete against a Tesla.

The company has revealed the Vision-S is visiting yet another region of Earth. After it left North America the prototype first went to Magna Steyr’s Graz facility in Austria for additional technical modifications in preparations for test drives on public roads. Now the Japanese concept is finally reaching the Land of the Rising Sun.

Thus, it has been transported to Sony’s headquarters in Tokyo for further development of the sensing and audio technologies. This is also where the aforementioned public trials will take place, all set to start before the end of the current fiscal year. Are we getting mixed signals right here or what?!

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
Aurel Niculescu profile photo

Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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