Some of that technology won’t be exclusively Sony. For example, the CES concept included Amazon’s Alexa voice control. Sony instead hopes it can bring new ideas to entertain both the driver and passengers, drawing on its PlayStation expertise.

For example, Afeela will use the Unreal Engine 3D computer graphics developed by PlayStation partner and Fortnite developer Epic Games, Kawanishi said. 

He was more coy on how that will pan out, but we’re promised new augmented-reality visualisation for both passenger entertainment and assisted-driving displays.

The reason why Sony and Honda created a new brand without mentioning either name, despite the respective strength of both, was to create “another land” away from Honda and Sony but also any other automotive brand, Mizuno said.

The business case for Afeela

The Afeela range, initially a saloon but likely followed by an SUV, a second saloon and even possibly an MPV, aren’t premium but instead “high-value”, Mizuno said.

The new company is playing the long game. The car will consume “huge sums” to develop, according to Mizuno, and the cost of the parts used will be high. That’s because Sony-Honda Mobility wants to futureproof the car to ensure that it can handle updates over a long period.

Mizuno spoke about wanting leases lasting up to 10 years, with customers receiving regular software updates if they continue to pay the same monthly figure. Don’t take the updates and your monthly fees decrease.

To do that, Afeela needs a seriously high specification from the get-go. So the ‘system-on-chip’ computer powering the assisted-driving and infotainment functions will be the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon, running at 800 trillion operations per second (TOPS). By contrast, the new Snapdragon chip going into the Volvo EX90 electric SUV is measured at 10 TOPS, and that’s still pretty powerful.

Afeela is planning to roll out level-three autonomy from 2026 and possibly even Level 4 (hands-free) in the lifetime of the car, utilising all of its 45 sensors, including a Sony lidar unit. Updates will continuously improve the quality of that autonomy.


Source link

Load More By Michael Smith
Load More In Automotive
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Autocar magazine 1 February: on sale now

[ad_1] This week in Autocar, we put Porsche’s new 911 ‘SUV’ through its paces, break the s…