Sony publicly showed for the first time a new car that it will produce with Honda. The car, announced in October, appeared for public viewing last week at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The electric vehicle, called the Afeela, will use technology from Qualcomm, including its "Snapdragon" digital chassis.
Sony's long-awaited push into electric vehicles shows how manufacturers are increasingly paying attention to the driver's experience in cars.
Yasuhide Mizuno is the chief executive of Sony Honda Mobility. He told the CES trade show, "In order to realize intelligent mobility, continuous software updates and high-performance computing are required...To that end, we will work closely with Qualcomm."
Qualcomm recently launched a new processor, the Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC, that handles both assisted driving and cockpit functions, including entertainment. Previously those functions were handled on different chips, or computer processors. Bringing the two together can help reduce costs, a Qualcomm official told Reuters.
高通公司最近推出了新款处理器Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC，该处理器可以支持辅助驾驶和包括娱乐功能在内的驾驶舱功能。以前，这些功能是由不同的芯片或计算机处理器支持的。高通公司的一位官员告诉路透社，将两者结合起来有助于降低成本。
Mizuno said that Sony is looking to use its traditional strengths in sensors. The Afeela will have more than 40 sensors. The car will use the "Unreal Engine" 3-D creation tool from Epic Games, the maker of the "Fortnite" series of games.
For Honda, the project with Sony may permit it to speed up what has so far been a slow move to electric. It has also struggled over the years to make gains in the luxury vehicle market with its Acura brand.
"As safety and security are essential to mobility, we will integrate Sony's sensors and the Honda safety along with other intelligent technologies," Mizuno said.
Production of the vehicle will take place at one of Honda's 12 factories in the U.S. The U.S. was chosen for the launch because electric vehicles are already popular there. Japan came second as Honda's home market, and other markets, including Europe, will follow, but no dates have been set.
Mizuno said the company expects to take early orders in the first half of 2025 and send the first cars to buyers in North America in the spring of 2026.
I'm John Russell.