THE AUTOMOBILE IN FERMENT – The sony does not leave, but doubles: after the Vision S 01 prototype of 2020, it is the vote of the concept Sony S 02 which debuts at CES 2022. Not a bit for a company that has reiterated that it has no interest in building cars. But the S 02 was created to reaffirm the Japanese company’s commitment to the automotive sector, supported by the creation of the Sony Mobility Division, which will develop technologies for connected cars, autonomous driving, security and multimedia. It is difficult to say, at present, if there will be an additional step in the construction of whole cars.
> In the photo above, the Sony S 02 on the left, the 2020 S 01 on the right.
IN THE NAME OF SECURITY – The Prototype Sony Vision S 02 offers interesting entertainment modes in a large seven-seat cockpit but, in addition to comfort and fun, also a lot of safety thanks to the 40 sensors (Sony produces popular C-Mos which also sell to other device manufacturers photo/video and smartphones) coordinated by powerful processors. The list of these items includes image sensors high sensitivity CMOS, LiDAR which detect in 3D what surrounds the vehicle and the Time-of-Flight (ToF) used to authenticate passengers, detects driver fatigue and supports gesture controls. ToF sensors obtain a short-range 3D map by sending out very short pulses and calculating distances based on the time taken for the pulses themselves to return. They are already used by tablets and smartphones for infallible facial recognition (they are not fooled by a photograph) and to help focus their cameras.
ADVANCED ENTERTAINMENT – The Sony Vision S 02 features advanced 5G connectivity which, with high speeds and capacities and low latency, will be key, both for advanced services and entertainment, and for autonomous driving. The “dashboard” includes three screens to manage all the functions of the car, while the advanced connectivity will also allow Over the Air updates. The Vision S 02 can also count on voice and gesture commands and a set of ADAS with level 2 autonomous driving but with the idea of reaching higher levels. The audio system creates a three-dimensional sound field, while the Bravia Core For Vision-S is a kind of video server that also enables different programs for the main display and for the individual displays in the rear seats. The car is (obviously) compatible with i Playstation Games, which can also be streamed through the cloud. The advanced connectivity also enables remote control and operation – Vodafone and Sony have done tests by controlling a Vision-S in Germany from Tokyo – and Sony is working towards this through its technology partners.
IT IS ALSO USED TO MOVE – This festival of electronics does not exhaust the substance of the prototype Sony Vision-S 02, which has very respectable automotive characteristics. A generous length, width and height (498x193x165 cm) combined with a generous wheelbase (303 cm) give the Vision-S 02 a very large cockpit. The air suspension provides almost 16 cm of ground clearance and the large 20-inch wheels mount 255/50 tires at the front and 275/40 at the rear. The all-wheel drive is obtained with two motors of 272 CV each while the maximum speed is 180 km/h; the weight increased to 2,480 kg, which is 130 kg more than the S 01 sedan. For the realization of these prototypes, Sony used a long series of partner among which stand out classic automotive names: Bosch, Continental, Valeo, ZF, the Hungarian startup specializing in autonomous driving AIMotive, Elektrobit Automotive (spinoff of Continental for automotive software), the aforementioned Vodafone, HERE for electronic cards, Nvidia , Blackberry/QNX and Qualcomm.