Sony, which opened its event at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show by revealing that its hit racing game Gran Turismo was coming to its new PlayStation VR2 platform, announced an actual car.
Sony said it was partnering with Japanese automaker Honda and entering the electric-vehicle market with a brand new car brand called the Afeela. The move comes ten months after the two companies announced a joint mobility venture.
At its presentation, Sony Honda Mobility chief executive Yasuhide Mizuno revealed a prototype of the company’s first car, which looked like a mid-sized sedan. The car will be available to order and purchase in 2025, he said, but the first deliveries of the car would not take place in North America until 2026, he added. The car will be built at one of Honda’s factories, although which one was not specified.
The Afeela will feature safety and driver-assistance technology from Honda and infotainment systems from Sony, Mizuno said, with 45 cameras and sensors both inside and outside the vehicle. It will have an entertainment console built into the car offering various Sony movies, music, and gaming titles. Sony’s brands, including PlayStation, will be heavily integrated into the vehicle.
“At the heart of this mobility experience is the word ‘feel,’” Mizuno said, who then explained that the focus of the Afeela will be on sensing and interacting with people.
While a scant number of details were made available, the Afeela that was shown at the event had a display built into the vehicle’s front bumper that it called the “media bar.” The display can be used to provide information to passing cars as well as to pedestrians and could, for example, be used by ride-hailing service drivers to inform a passenger that their ride has arrived.
In addition, Sony showed off several themes on the display including a Spiderman design.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)