Sony and Honda announced a year ago that they would enter a partnership to make EVs. This week, the two companies revealed a prototype under the brand Afeela.
The four-door car was demonstrated on stage at CES on Wednesday as Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida discussed the company’s mobility strategy, which places a premium on creating automobiles with autonomous features and the ability to turn into “moving entertainment spaces.
According to Yoshida, the Afeelas’ first preorders will take place in the first half of 2025, and sales will start the following year. Customers in North America will get the first shipments in the spring of 2026.
The new EV will first be produced in Honda’s North American facility and will have Level 3 automated driving capabilities under certain restrictions, according to prior statements from Sony and Honda. Level 3 autonomy means the car can drive itself in traffic jams, but a human driver must take over when the system requests it.
The integration of external media along the front of the car, which enables the vehicle to communicate with other drivers and transmit and receive critical information, was one of the new design aspects that Sony presented today.
Yoshida said, “We intend to investigate the potential of how media might generate a joyful and thrilling mobility encounter.”
The prototype is also outfitted with 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside the car to assure security. In-cabin sensors will track the driver’s condition to avoid accidents.
According to Yoshida, Afeela will also offer top-notch entertainment to its patrons. The Sony-Honda JV will use the 3D computer graphics engine Unreal Engine from Epic Games in its automobiles to assist in envisioning joy in cars and communication and safety.
Yoshida stated, “We foresee a new in-cabin experience leveraging our understanding of UX and UI technologies, in addition to movies, games, and music.
According to Kim Libreri, chief technology officer of Epic Games, intuitive interactive photo natural augmentation—which Unreal Engine excels at—is the most natural method to represent essential data inside the automobile.
The vehicle will eventually develop into a next-generation location for social networking. Not just for the residents but also their social and professional network. It will integrate with the rest of our digital life, Libreri predicted onstage at CES.
Afeela cars will be constructed around Qualcomm’s system-on-a-chip technology, including their Snapdragon digital chassis, to handle all the compute required for automated driving and advanced driver assistance system capabilities, car telematics, and what we anticipate to be an expensive infotainment system.