Remember when Sony and Honda formed a partnership wherein they will be producing electric vehicles (EVs) and selling them by 2025? After making the Sony-Honda Mobility (SHM) partnership official last year, Sony and Honda have arrived at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023 with their new EV brand called Afeela.
Borrowing inspiration from the Sony Vision-S 01 concept, the prototype vehicle shown in Las Vegas will serve as one of the upcoming vehicles the Afeela brand will sell in the future. It will combine the very best of a premium luxury EV with Sony's experience in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and entertainment features for a one-of-a-kind riding (and driving) experience.
“Afeela represents our concept of an interactive relationship where people feel the sensation of interactive mobility and where mobility can detect and understand people and society by utilizing sensing and AI technologies,” said Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno.
While no specific features were described in detail, official press images did show that the prototype EV shown will have high-resolution displays not just for the driver, but also for the front and rear passengers. Not only do they provide a clear view of the EV's instruments, but the screens also feature a wide array of entertainment and high-tech amenities.
More importantly, the vehicle is fitted with Sony's sensor technology that works with Honda's safety tech for a smarter and safer driving/riding experience. It's also equipped with a total of 45 cameras and various sensors both inside and outside of the vehicle for extra peace of mind. With a goal of achieving for level 3 autonomous driving, Sony and Honda plan to make the prototype EV to deliver self-driving capability to their customers.
With Sony's expertise in next-generation entertainment, the Afeela prototype EV will combine real and virtual worlds to maximize visual experience. Using Epic Games' Unreal Engine, Sony & Honda aim to create new experiences and communities in mobile space. While not yet confirmed, there are also rumors going around that the EV will come with a built-in PS5 which the company said will be a part of the vehicle's entertainment on the go.
In terms of size, the prototype will measure 4895mm long, 1900mm wide, 1460mm tall, and will have a 3000mm wheelbase. It will have a double wishbone suspension up front while the rear will have a multi-link setup. Sony and Honda have yet to reveal the EV's electric powertrain but they did say it will have an AWD system.
Pre-orders for the Afeela EVs will begin in the first half of 2025 with sales set to start later that year. Customer deliveries, on the other hand, will only start in the spring of 2026 in North America. With several years to go before we'll see the production version of the prototype EV sedan, we're hoping it will be joined by the Vision-S 02 SUV.