Cars are transitioning toward electric powertrains, autonomous driving technology and connected online infotainment experiences. These transitions, in turn, have shifted much of the competitive locus of auto-dom from the traditional mechanical developments to the realm of electronics. As a result, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is now as important to automakers as any auto show.
The Vision-S — a sedan that looks sort of like a Polestar mated with a Porsche — boasts a dual-motor electric powertrain built by Magna Steyr. Sony claims a top speed of 149 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration in less than five seconds. (Sony did not mention the car’s battery capacity or the car’s estimated range.)
The Vision S has 33 different sensors on the car monitoring the external and internal environments. These sensors can, reportedly, allow the car to offer Level 2+ autonomous driving systems, as well as monitoring the driver’s attention and providing customized infotainment. Sony also included a sophisticated speaker alignment that provides a surround sound setup for each individual driver, and a Byton-like infotainment screen.
Is Sony about to get into the car production game? Probably not. While electric cars may be the industry’s future, present profits come from selling gasoline-powered pickup trucks and SUVs — and, in Tesla’s case, offsetting the emissions of the companies that do so. The Vision-S is more likely a showcase for what Sony can offer automakers on the tech side.
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