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Auto Shows Sony Reveals Vision-S Concept, Stakes Claim to Be Part of the Electric-Car Future

19:10  07 january  2020
19:10  07 january  2020 Source:   caranddriver.com

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a car on display: The electronics company displayed its mastery of 360-degree in-car audio, connectivity, and sensor technology with a surprise prototype electric car.© Mario Tama The electronics company displayed its mastery of 360-degree in-car audio, connectivity, and sensor technology with a surprise prototype electric car.
  • Sony's surprise concept car, the Vision-S, is an EV equipped with 33 sensors—lidar, radar, and cameras—plus 360-degree immersive audio and a panoramic screen stretching across the front dashboard.
  • The point is to showcase Sony's capability for in-car entertainment and cloud technologies inside a vehicle.
  • Sony made no suggestion that the car would go into production.

Sony’s appearance at the CES technology show was highly anticipated mainly in the hope its new PlayStation 5 gaming console would be revealed—not because the company was expected to show a Sony electric vehicle. Nobody anticipated that turn of events for the manufacturer that, last year at CES, focused on 8K TVs and audio technology.

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As it turned out, Sony only showed a logo to tease PlayStation 5, but the Vision-S, Sony's electric concept car, was rolled out onto the stage near the end of the company's presentation, surprising just about everybody. Sony said the Vision-S is part of a new initiative to put on display its technological prowess and capabilities in the area of mobility; the company made no suggestion that the car was destined for production.

a car parked in a parking lot: Sony Unveils EV Concept, the Vision-S, at CES© Sony Sony Unveils EV Concept, the Vision-S, at CES

The all-wheel-drive concept sits on a newly developed EV platform that Sony says would be adaptable to coupe, sedan, and SUV body types. It is powered by a dual-motor system and weighs 5180 pounds. Sony's specs estimate a zero-t0-60-mph time of 4.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 149 mph. The company didn't offer details about battery capacity or range.

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"This prototype embodies our contribution to the future of mobility and contains a variety of Sony's technologies," Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said at the unveiling. The car features a panoramic screen that stretches the length of the dashboard, making the instrument panel and center screen into one contiguous screen. There are also rear-facing screens on the backs of the front headrests.

a passenger seat of a car: Sony Unveils EV Concept, the Vision-S, at CES© Sony Sony Unveils EV Concept, the Vision-S, at CES

Yoshida said the project involved input from other companies such as BlackBerry and Magna. The design is not groundbreaking; in fact, it bears similarities to other EVs. Notably, the headlights and portions of the front end look a bit like the Porsche Taycan, and the large windshield and squared-off back end are reminiscent of the Tesla Model 3.

The point of Sony's concept is to show what it can do inside and outside a car, so there are 33 sensors, including radar, lidar, and cameras. The car also integrates Sony's immersive 360-degree audio technology, 360 Reality Audio, which features speakers in each seat. Sony also built the capability for continual over-the-air updates into the car.

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These infinitely cool interior technologies are just around the corner"Flat was yesterday," proclaims the fact sheet explaining this new screen technology (shown above) that Conti says will be rolling out in 2023. The screen uses liquid-crystal technology with LED backlighting, but the key to the 3D look is a diamond-like diffuser that sends that backlighting up through the LCD. The effect looks perfectly three-dimensional from straight on, though if you slowly move your head from side to side your eyes will pass through eight cones of perfect perception. As you get to the border of said cones, the image appears to invert. Strange, but pretty cool.

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