Sony’s Tesla rival hits the road
Sony's Vision S is a lot of things.
The electric car is a PlayStation, personal assistant, home theatre system and cinema rolled into a set of wheels promising to change the way people think about cars.
And Sony is serious about putting it into production.
Originally unveiled at the CES show in Las Vegas last year, the Japanese giant announced this week that testing of its new machine has started on public roads.
While the Vision S was originally touted as a proof-of-concept for Sony technology, the machine looks increasingly likely to be sold to the public.
A statement issued by the brand said it will keep working to refine the car.
"Sony will continue to further develop the vehicle, and plans to conduct driving tests in other regions as well going forward.
"By bringing together its cutting-edge technologies, Sony intends to contribute to the evolution of mobility by contributing safety, security, and in-car entertainment that generates new excitement."
Door-to-door panoramic screens have 5G connectivity allowing gamers to wirelessly access their home PlayStation console for gaming on the go. High-res monitors and a new speaker system promise to lift in-car entertainment beyond existing models.
Sony says a camera pointed at the driver uses special lip-reading software to make sure voice-activated features work perfectly.
Some 40 sensors placed around the car, including 18 cameras, four lasers and 18 radar or ultrasonic units work to make the car's driver assistance systems - including the promise of true self-driving capabilities - possible.
The Vision S is about the same size as Tesla's Model S sedan
Sony says the four-seater has 200kW electric motors in the front and rear that help it reach 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.
The machine has not been confirmed for production, so estimated prices and on-sale dates are impossible to pin down.
Originally published as Sony's Tesla rival hits the road