Over the past decade, electric vehicle (“EV”) makers such as Tesla have proved that EVs are a much cleaner viable transport option than conventional combustion engine vehicles. However, the young EV industry hasn’t been confined to only EV makers; several automakers such as General Motors, Toyota and BMW have thrown their hats into the EV arena. Now Sony (NYSE: SNE), a company that doesn’t even produce vehicles, has announced that it has begun testing its upcoming electric vehicle on public roads.
Dubbed the Vision-S, Sony’s first electric vehicle weighs 5,180 pounds and is powered by two 200 kilowatt motors, one at the front of the car and the other at the rear. The firm initially partnered with a couple of companies including supplier and auto manufacturer Magna Steyr, which built the BMW Z4 and the Toyota Supra, to develop a prototype of the midsize electric sedan. The prototype had a top speed of 149 mph and could travel from 0-62 mph in 4.8 seconds.
Making the announcement at the 2021 Consumer Electrics Show, Sony said the prototype EV’s development had reached the “next stage.” The company began testing its vehicle in Austria last month, describing the testing as “technical evaluation” to help improve the vehicle’s safety. According to a website outlining the project specifications, the Vision-S prototype is meant to illustrate Sony’s “future concepts in the area of mobility.”
Sony also unveiled footage of the Vision-S being tested on the snowy public roads of Austria as well as behind-the-scenes footage shot during the 2021 CES. Thanks to the video, we now know that Sony’s first-ever EV has a wide, mirror-to-mirror array of screens, rear-view mirror cameras, gesture control, a 360-degree audio system, and 5G connectivity as well as autonomous driving ability.
The Vision-S also features Sony’s imaging and sensing technologies coupled with on-board software that’s regulated using the company’s cloud and telecommunication technologies. In total, the EV employs 38 automotive spec sensors — including the CMOS image sensors Sony uses in its cameras — to detect and recognize objects as well as people located both outside and inside the vehicle. According to Sony, the vehicle has advanced cruise control, self-parking and auto lane-change capabilities, which are more or less equal to level two-plus autonomy.
The company is looking to achieve level four or higher self driving, and thanks to continued software updates, this dream could well become a reality one day. Sony plans to continue developing the prototype and testing it out in other regions.
Other players in the industry already have different models serving the needs of different segments of society. For example, ev Transportation Services Inc. makes a light-duty commercial vehicle suitable for the needs of a number of applications, including for security teams. The vehicle’s speed and agility, coupled with other features such as a tubular roll cage, are all geared to enable security teams to quickly respond when breaches occur.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to ev Transportation Services Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/EVTS
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