Sony introduces electric car: electronics groups go mobile

Up to now, Apple has mostly been considered a candidate to produce its own car as an electronics group. Now there is one from Sony instead.

Presentation of the prototype of "Vision S" at the CES in Las Vegas Photo: Florian Schuh/dpa

Electronics giant Sony is surprisingly going among the carmakers. The Japanese company unveiled a prototype of an electric car at the CES tech show in Las Vegas, but remained silent on production plans.

The prototype, called Vision-S, is intended to demonstrate the possibilities inherent in Sony’s technical developments, group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said on Monday (local time). This includes software, sensors and safety technology as well as a complete entertainment system. "This prototype embodies our contribution to the future of mobility," Yoshida said.

According to him, Sony has developed the car together with a whole range of partners – first and foremost Magna Steyr from Austria, but also the three major German suppliers Bosch, Continental and ZF. The newly developed electric platform is also suitable for powering other types of vehicles such as SUVs, he said.

Sony itself is strong in camera sensors, for example, which are used in many smartphones. The interior of the Vision-S features a long display that stretches almost from door to door.

Apple recently trimmed its development program

Experts had long expected that with the advance of electric vehicles, electronics groups would also enter the car business. However, Apple in particular was expected to do so – but the iPhone company trimmed its years-long development program and is currently concentrating on robot car technology.

At the start of CES, it also became clear how plans for the robot car future are taking on more and more concrete form, with new players entering the industry. Chip company Qualcomm, for example, announced its entry into the business of computers for automated driving and robotaxis. The first vehicles with Qualcomm systems are expected to hit the road by 2023. The Chinese drone specialist DJI wants to shake up the market for laser radars, with which robot cars scan their surroundings, with significantly cheaper devices than before.

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