With several screens sitting on top of what would be a dashboard in a traditional car, the Afeela EV, which was announced by Sony and Honda at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is intended to be more of a smartphone on wheels, but for this to happen, the two powerhouses behind it need the technology offered by a third player, and that’s Qualcomm, according to Automotive News.

The Afeela is still a couple of years away from becoming a reality, with initial estimates saying it could come to market in 2025, and we still don’t know specific details about its drivetrain, but we do know that it will have some 45 sensors, including lidar, eight cameras, and built-in artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

In theory, when everything is said and done, the all-electric product of Sony and Honda’s joint venture should have Level 3 self-driving capabilities, but not without Qualcomm’s Digital Chassis platform, which will apparently power everything tech-related.

Gallery: Afeela Prototype

According to the SAE levels of driving automation, Level 3 means that a person is not driving the car when the driving assistance systems are engaged, but that the driver needs to take over control when the feature requests this.

Mostly known for making processor chips for Android smartphones, Qualcomm has also been working on an automotive solution for upcoming vehicles, which is capable of gathering information from all the sensors, feeding images to all the interior screens, getting over-the-air updates and real-time alerts via its 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity capabilities, and “learn” the driver’s preferences by collecting real-time data.

"Honda's providing the platform on which to put all this stuff, and Sony's got the ideas, but it's really Qualcomm that's powering all this stuff," Ed Kim, chief analyst at AutoPacific, told Automotive News.

The Afeela EV will reportedly also feature screen graphics developed on the Unreal Engine, the same that powers the interior displays of the GMC Hummer EV.

Set to enter production in 2025 at one of Honda’s factories in Ohio, the upcoming EV will sit on the Japanese automaker’s yet-to-be-released e:Architecture platform, with Sony contributing several digital technologies and media content from its movie, music, and video game units.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but the US-built EV is expected to be a low-volume, niche product, so we expect an MSRP of over $100,000, considering the tech claims. Deliveries of the Afeela EV are expected to start in 2026.

As always, we’d like to know what you think about this, so head over to the comments section below to give us your thoughts.

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