Sony Releases Its First Concept Car, Vision-S

Sony Releases Its First Concept Car, Vision-S

No, that is not a typo. This is Sony we are speaking about, the same brand that makes noise-canceling headphones and the PlayStation. Chances are that they stumbled upon the growing potential of electric vehicles and decided to join the bandwagon. 

This is not a traditional attempt to jump in these waters though. It is masked as a fully-fledged vehicle that seems to resemble German design more than the Japanese one. What it is, is a rolling showcase of OEM parts that Sony wants to sell to automotive brands. The car is set to be unveiled at CES 2020 and it is probably the best way we have seen a brand present its technology.

Sony has been dominating the camera industry in the last few years thanks to its state-of-the-art CMOS sensors that have been credited with incredible low-light capabilities. New cars and especially electric ones are equipped with a plethora of cameras, which is where Sony wants to fit its electronics into. The 12 cameras cover every area of the car and one of them is especially tasked with monitoring the driver, detecting changes in the facial expression to prevent sleeping on the wheel.

Then, there is the audio experience. In the concept car, we can see that the headrests are fitted with speakers to offer a customizable audio experience for each passenger. More than 30 speakers fill the interior of the car for an incredible acoustic journey and thanks to a network within the car, the music from your earbuds can be seamlessly transferred to the car's audio system.

Sony has been producing audio equipment for more than 5 decades now and their expertise is not easy to disregard. Then comes the infotainment system which we have witnessed turning into a screen, losing all its knobs and buttons in the process. As fate has it, Sony is also a leader in producing screens. They have installed a panoramic screen that covers the entire dashboard without making it look like an electronic billboard. 

As self-driving cars move forward with testing and approval, the need for better sensors naturally arises. That is why Sony has installed 12 ultrasonic sensors for parking and blindspot detection. Another 3 solid-state LiDAR radars have been installed front, left and right as well. The list of features does not end here as Sony appears to have gone all out. These include automatic comfort and climate setting system, OTA software updates as well as a sleeping passenger detector which will adjust the temperature to make it as comforting as possible for passengers to sleep. Features are not its only strength though, as the car features an AWD system with 536hp, taking only 4.8 seconds to reach 100 km/h. Of course these digits do not match Tesla's numbers but does Tesla make noise-canceling headphones? I didn't think so.

For a car that has the sole purpose of peacocking Sony's technology to potential OEM purchasers, the Vision-S is an impressive feat of technology. µ


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