Sony said it was not going into the car manufacturing business, even after it revealed a vehicle that looked almost production ready. Then it showed a crossover version of the first vehicle, at this year’s edition of CES, and it finally admitted that it was looking to enter the EV market.
Now Reuters tells us that the Japanese company is seeking new tech partners to help it achieve its unique vision. Sony doesn’t simply want to make functional vehicles that just fulfil transportation needs - it wants to turn them into entertainment spaces.
According to Izumi Kawanishi, manager who will be in charge of the new Sony Mobility division,
We see the risk of ignoring EVs as greater than the challenge they pose.
The coming transformation of cars was in some ways similar to how information technology turned phones into smartphones.
Kawanishi, who joined Sony in 1986 and headed the AI Robotics team that created the Aibo robotic dog, did not say if the company was going to make any official announcements this year. So far, Sony has still not officially announced when it plans to launch its first vehicle, although as previously mentioned, the concepts it showed appeared to be ready for production.
Gallery: Sony Vision-S Prototype
The first of these concepts, the Vision-S 01, is a sleek fastback type vehicle (bigger than a Tesla Model 3, smaller than a Model S), while the newer Vision-S 02 is a crossover that looks very similar but is slightly larger (in between a Model Y and Model X) and can seat seven. The latter was also spotted by our spies testing out on public roads last year, but at the time Sony had not acknowledged that it was actually pursuing the production of automobiles.