The Consumer Electronics Show has become a prominent forum for both the car and tech industries. It's a space where automakers can position themselves as tech companies. And tech companies are increasingly positioning themselves as car companies. Apple has been toying with a production automobile for some time. And Sony — the company that makes your PlayStation 5 and maybe the television you play it on — has just unveiled its second electric vehicle prototype.
The new concept is the Vision S 02; Sony debuted the Vision S 01 sedan back in 2020. The new model is a seven-seater SUV. We don't know much about the performance or battery range, but according to Autocar, the Vision S 02 employs 268 horsepower motors on each axle and can exceed 112 mph. Sony notes that it has been working on Level 2+ advanced driving systems, remote operation and smartphone connectivity and a high-quality visual and audio experience for rear passengers.
Sony also announced it might bring these EVs into production. The brand is creating a new offshoot, Sony Mobility Inc., in Spring 2022 that will explore that prospect and other uses for its AI and Robotics technology.
We don't know what Sony's ultimate intentions are. Broadly, billions of dollars will be made in "mobility" as we move toward the movement of people and things becoming electric-powered and increasingly autonomous. And tech companies like Sony are as (if not better) equipped to compete there as car companies.
Still, building production cars from scratch is painstaking and often not profitable. And it's not clear what Sony's expertise and branding add to that formula. But an electric car is a concrete, simple vision that the public and shareholders — see $TSLA — can latch onto. And even if a Sony car never materializes, Sony Mobility Inc. just launched with far more fanfare than it would have garnered if Sony showed off an e-scooter or a delivery robot.