Sony is looking for new technology partners to help it enter the electric vehicle market as part of the Sony Mobility Inc. venture which will launch in spring 2022. The news was shared with Reuters by a Sony executive who said his goal was to “turn cars from transportation machines into entertainment spaces.”
Izumi Kawanishi, head of Sony’s AI Robotics division and soon to be head of Sony Mobility Inc., said what is happening now with electric cars is similar to the transformation that has turned phones into smartphones using information technology. in the 2000s, adding that “we consider the risk of ignoring electric vehicles to be greater than the challenge they pose”.
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Sony unveiled the Vision-S 02 electric SUV concept at CES 2022, which followed the Vision-S 01 electric sedan from CES 2020. Both concepts were built by Magna Steyr in Austria who has a lot of experience in the matter. . Other companies that have been involved in the design and development of Sony vehicles include Bosch, Valeo and Almotive.
While the concepts seem ready for production and the Vision-S 01 has already started being tested on public roads, if Sony decides to go ahead, it will have to make huge investments to set up a factory. Tesla, a game-changer in electric vehicles, and traditional automakers such as Toyota, VW Group, General Motors and Stellantis have invested billions in electric vehicles. So, the most viable option for Sony is to form alliances and seek partnerships for its EV project. When asked if a Chinese company would be a good choice for Sony, Kawanishi said that “Sony will choose new partners for its EV project based on the technology they can bring to the project, regardless of nationality.” .
Sony isn’t the only tech company looking to enter the electric vehicle market, as Apple, LG, Foxconn, Alibaba Group, Xiaomi and Huawei have already announced similar intentions. Electric cars are much easier to build than conventional ICE-powered vehicles, while tech features such as autonomous driving, infotainment and 5G connectivity are becoming increasingly important for a modern automobile, attracting newcomers in the game.