Jan 7, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Sony surprises CES with electric vehicle concept

Photo: Sony

Sony made waves at CES in Las Vegas on Monday by unveiling an electric vehicle prototype under what the tech giant calls its "Vision-S" initiative.

Why it matters: It adds a deep-pocketed player to the competitive electric vehicle design and tech field.

  • "I believe the next megatrend will be mobility, as vehicles become more connected, autonomous, shared and electric in the coming years," CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said onstage.

The state of play: It's not yet clear, as The Verge points out, whether the car is ever meant to go into production, or whether it's instead a way to package concepts and tech that could be used by others.

  • Either way, Sony clearly is looking to position itself in the future of transportation.
  • "To deepen our understanding of cars in terms of their design and technologies, we gave a shape to our vision," Yoshida said.

Where it stands: Sony said the vehicle is the result of work with partners including the giant auto supplier Magna, Bosch, BlackBerry, Qualcomm and others.

  • The CES presentation and a new website offer little sense of commercial plans for the ideas around in-car entertainment, sensing, and more that Sony is touting.
  • Yoshida also said the newly designed platform for the vehicle can be applied to other vehicle types, like SUVs.

What's next: Engadget's Mariella Moon notes there are "lots of questions for Sony to answer."

  • "We need more details on its pretty elaborate in-car entertainment features, and what is the company planning to do after this concept?"

Go deeper: Electric vehicles face an uncertain policy landscape in 2020

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