Sony and Honda have announced their joint mobility company, which plans to begin providing luxury electric cars with autonomous driving characteristics in the U. S. in the spring of 2026, then expanding to Japan in the second quarter of the same year.
This shows how the auto industry is going right now. As the software-defined vehicle moves beyond automotive performance and into an autonomous territory, cars are becoming more than a path to get from one place to another. They are also a form of entertainment, and carmakers are trying to up the ante.
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Features Predicted To Be Part of the Car
Less emphasis will be placed in the future on torque, horsepower, and leather seats and more on the driver's entertainment options when they are not behind the wheel. Sony, a company that makes the hardware, software, and entertainment, and Honda, a Japanese carmaker, are working together to build what they think will be a very smart car.
A few months ago, Sony and Honda announced that they would work together to create a new "mobility technology firm" focusing on software. The firm will be named Sony Honda Mobility Inc. (SHM). The firms say that the JV will start taking preorders for its first product in the first half of 2025 and will only sell online by the end of the same year.
The companies say that the new EV, made for the first time at Honda's North American plant, will have Level 3 autonomous driving in limited situations and Level 2 advanced driver support systems that can handle difficult driving situations in cities. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) states that Level 3 autonomy means the car can drive itself in certain conditions, like traffic jams, when automated features are turned on. Still, the driver must take over when the system tells them to.
Sony will provide the sensors and technology upgrades for the autonomous features, as well as all of the other software, from cloud-based services to entertainment, which drivers should be able to enjoy more now that they don't have to drive the car all the time. The firms did not provide many details regarding the infotainment system's appearance, but they did indicate that the metaverse will be included.
SHM aspires to transform the mobility space into an entertainment and emotional environment by merging real and virtual worlds and investigating new entertainment opportunities via digital breakthroughs such as the metaverse.
SHM wants to "create new mobility entertainment" and make mobility a "mobility experience service." What does this precisely mean? SHM seems to get the same feature-filled mailings as other high-end car companies that want to get people to use their cars more than their phones.
The JV statement doesn't say anything about pricing, battery range, or even the type of car being thought about.
Honda has been hesitant to make its electric cars. So, the partnership with Sony is a step toward using electric vehicles (EVs) and the idea of the car as a connected device. If the Sony Honda EV gets to market, it will help Honda gain a presence in the U.S. premium car market.
Other Cars Offering Gaming
This week, BMW announced a partnership with AirConsole to offer in-car gaming to the BMW 7 series, which will already be equipped with Amazon Fire TV for streaming next year. Volvo is in the process of integrating Google Home and YouTube into its automobiles.
Featured image: Sony
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