Vision-S concept EV may hit the streets, Sony in Tokyo for public road testing

Japanese electronics majorset the cat among the pigeons when it unveiled a prototype electric car at CES in January 2020. At the time, it said that the Vision-Swas not intended for commercial use, but it turns out that the car might be spotted on the streets after all.

Sony revealed in a YouTube video that the Vision-S “has arrived in Tokyo for advancing our sensing and audio technologies. The prototype vehicle is also currently under development for public road testing this fiscal year.”

The prototype EV, Sony said, was developed to showcase its technology to, and was not an effort on its part to pivot towards EVs, at least not on its own. However, the Tokyo-based company might be interested in doing more than just pitching its prowess in electrical engineering to Big Auto.

The Vision-S can go from 0-100 kmph in 4.8 seconds, and can hit a top speed of 240 kmph. It is powered by dual 200kW engine, one each at the front and rear. In January, when Sony unveiled the prototype, it had Level 2 autonomous driving capabilities, which meant it could handle acceleration, braking, and steering, but required human intervention to oversee the system.

The more Sony tweaks with the Vision-S, the more attention it is going to get from car manufacturers.

By testing it further, Sony could be exploring the opportunity to giver its EV prototype greater level of autonomy. The Vision-S has 33 sensors for autonomous driving and ancillary functions like recognizing people and items, both inside and outside the cabin.

It is capable of adapting the preferences of the driver, and can modify settings for a tailormade commuting experience. Given Sony’s expertise with imaging and audio technology, it is no surprise that the in-car entertainment system is quite futuristic.

It has a seamless user interface, and comes with 360 Reality Audio, with speakers in all four seats’ headrests. While it too early to guess whether the car, in its present form, will make it to public roads, it is likely that the more Sony tweaks with the Vision-S, the more attention it is going to get from car manufacturers.

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