Sony surprises with an electric concept car called the Vision-S

Sony just made what might be one of the biggest surprise announcements at this year’s CES: a car. Called the Sony Vision-S, it’s an electric concept sedan that is meant to showcase the Japanese tech conglomerate’s many different strengths, from entertainment products to camera sensors and more.

In fact, the Vision-S features 33 different sensors inside and outside of the car, multiple widescreen displays, 360 audio, and always-on connectivity, with some pieces coming from industry players like BlackBerry and Bosch. It’s also powered by a “newly-designed EV platform” — which appears to have been engineered by automotive supplier Magna — that Sony says will be able to power other vehicle types, like SUVs.

The outside of the vehicle has some strong Porsche vibes, especially around the headlights, and in side profile it somewhat resembles the Lucid Motors Air. Inside, the Vision-S features a dashboard-spanning screen much like the one that Chinese EV startup Byton is putting in its cars, with screens for rear-seat passengers in the headrests.

Image: Sony

“This prototype embodies our contribution to the future of mobility,” Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said.

The company announced the car at the tail end of its CES press conference, where it also unveiled the logo for the upcoming PlayStation 5. Sony only spent a minute or two discussing the car before ending the press conference, too, and so it left tons of questions unanswered. Does Sony (or Magna) intend to put this into production, or is it just meant to be a reference car? Will Magna let other companies build their own prototypes or reference cars on the platform?

And, of course: will we be able to play it in Gran Turismo?

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge
Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge
Image by Sony
Image by Sony
Image by Sony
Image by Sony
Image by Sony

Sony also announced that its successful image sensor division also seems to be making investments into technologies that are adjacent to self-driving, including LIDAR and Time-of-Flight cameras. Below, find a bit from the company’s press release about how it describes those investments.

CMOS image sensors which achieve high sensitivity, high definition and high dynamic range while also suppressing LED flicker*3 to deliver accurate object recognition, even in situations where conventionally detection has been difficult.

Solid State LiDAR which uses highly accurate distance measurement to gain a precise 3D grasp of real-life spaces.

Sensor fusion technology which merges the capabilities of sensors of varied attributes to enable early and accurate recognition, even in challenging conditions such as fog, backlight and night-time driving.

Time-of-Flight (ToF) in-cabin sensing solutions use distance measurement technology to detect and recognize people and objects inside the car. This information is used to provide an optimized infotainment system with intuitive interfaces such as gesture control and improve safety and comfort inside the vehicle.

Comments

This is the crazy Sony we all know and miss.

I would buy a production version of this car, if it we’re priced similarity to a Tesla Model 3

I’m guessing more Model S territory.

Supposedly the car charges to full in less than 60 minutes (from empty), but copying the files takes another 8 hours.

If you use ATRAC-3 power compression, you can fit 3000 miles in the batteries, but it takes a month to charge!

Looks JUST like a Tesla. Wouldn’t be surprised if use a proprietary charger lol. Still very cool and exciting!

The charge port is a modified Memory Stick Duo port from a PSP.

I hated that when I had the OG PSP

Looks more like a Taycan instead of a Tesla

It literally looks like a budget Taycan. Throw in God of War, and I’d buy this car.

Proportions are similar to the Model 3 but otherwise I don’t really see a strong resemblance to anything on the road today.

Proportions are also close to the Taycan. So is the nose.

Yeah the nose says Taycan to me.

Taycan and a little Aston-y. The interior has such a nice 90’s retro future vibe though, super into it. That dash is gorgeous

Yeah I agree. If Sony could launch a car with that interior, I’d be interested.

No, the Taycan is lower, longer and wider. It has a much sportier proportion than the Model 3 or this Sony car which are taller relative to their length and width.

Regarding the nose, I guess it has similar air intakes on the sides but otherwise they look completely different. The Taycan is much cleaner with the distinctive Porsche pontoon-fenders while the Sony has that very prominent light-bar and concentric creases which break up the visual height of the front fascia.

General proportions between this and the Taycan are very similar, as is the cab forward design. Front fascia is also very similar.

The Taycan has almost identical dimensions to the Model S, except that it’s (roof is) several inches lower. There’s no way that this Sony car can have similar proportions to the Model 3 and Porsche Taycan at the same time.

There’s no way that this Sony car can have similar proportions to the Model 3 and Porsche Taycan at the same time.

You’re right. Its closer to the Taycan than the Model 3.

Tesla has a cleaner look. And this Sony car looks inside much better than outside.

Outside of also being an electric sedan, it doesn’t look like a Tesla. The light strip looks like something from the Cybertruck, but the comp. would be the model 3, and I don’t think anyone would confuse the two.

inb4 this shows up in a Sony movie.

Just say Spider-man

View All Comments
Back to top ↑