Sony will really launch a car: her name is Afeela and will arrive in 2026, Sony unveils her electric car – Geeko

Sony reveals his electric car

If Sony is the king of sensors and signal processing, it’s been a while since the Japanese has delegated the computing power to others. And it is in Qualcomm and its Snapdragon Drive Flex platform that the Japanese will trust to control its first vehicle. The announcement, yesterday, of sending the first samples to the partners this year with the availability of the first vehicles ” Between 2025 and 2026 »Support this thesis.

Sony will really launch a car: her name is Afeela and will arrive in 2026

The Vision project presented by Sony to CES 2020 will transform a real product: based on an electric chassis from Honda, the Afeela will be delivered in early 2026 to the first North American customers. An extraordinary electric car, clad in 45 sensors and cameras and whose entire interface will be based on the Unreal Engine.

Goodbye vision s, hello afeela ! THE Car concept futuristic that Sony had presented to these 2020 then 2021 will become – once is not customary ! – a reality. This Japanese project brings together the electronics giant Sony and its compatriot Honda, which will provide the automotive platform. A platform on which Sony has designed a sedan enjoying an electronic and digital experience based on no less than 45 sensors and cameras. Afeela is only the prototype of an extraordinary automobile, which will be pre-order from the first half of 2025 with the first deliveries in the spring of 2026-only in the United States at first.

From radar to LIDAR via the essential CMOS image sensor where it is the world number 1, Sony has integrated all the know-how it has acquired in the field of sensors to design a vehicle that promises autonomous driving category 3. A level below the complete autonomy, but which allows the vehicle to be left to the controls in situations such as traffic jams for example.

The horde of sensors will not only be at the service of driving, but also that of entertainment. An entertainment to which Sony is logically sensitive, by its involvement in cinema (Sony Pictures) but also in video games (PlayStation Branch). But which will affect all the auto and tech industry as a whole. Each actor-like Intel and Warner during CES 2019 for example (video below)-wanting to occupy your “available brain time” as soon as cars are 100 % autonomous.

Qualcomm in calculation, Unreal Engine to modeling

If Sony is the king of sensors and signal processing, it’s been a while since the Japanese has delegated the computing power to others. And it is in Qualcomm and its Snapdragon Drive Flex platform that the Japanese will trust to control its first vehicle. The announcement, yesterday, of sending the first samples to the partners this year with the availability of the first vehicles ” Between 2025 and 2026 »Support this thesis.

Announcing wanting ” Explore the possibilities of the way the media can create an experience of fun and fun mobility », Sony will take particular care to its user interfaces (UI and UX). And will use a 3D engine known to players for this: the Unreal Engine. Automotive default rendering engine, the Unreal Engine will be used not only in the mapping system, in the modeling of interfaces, etc. Sony has a special link with Epic (which designs this engine) since its PlayStation 5 is still in the forefront in the integration of the Unreal engine. Already in 2020, it was on this console that Epic demonstrated its 5th version, in particular by introducing Nanite and Lumen technologies.

This communication around fleas and a 3D rendering engine close to the world of video games logically invites us to ask questions around Gaming use – on which Sony did not communicate. But also on the choice of the technical platform.

The car fleas are apart

At first glance, we can be surprised that Sony communicates around a video game experience that is not based on the AMD components that we find in its PlayStation 5. If Sony has not commented on his choice of chips, the realities and automotive announcements can enlighten us. On the news side, it is the announcement of the new Snapdragon Drive Flex platform that arrives (as if by chance !) right at the same time as that of Sony. It is undoubtedly this platform that will propel the whole.

As for the why of the non-use of the chips of its console, it is simple: the chips that are put in cars must meet a special specifications. From thermal amplitudes to the internal design of IP blocks, including electrical tolerances and software behaviors (redundancy, etc.), car chips are less cut for power than for resistance. However, neither the CPU nor the GPU (both co -developed with AMD) are designed for these uses. And the work to adapt them would be huge. By using on shelf at Qualcomm, Sony does not have this concern and benefits from a directly developed platform – and certified ! – For the car.

Sony and Honda have not for the moment communicated any classic “automotive” technical detail (power and performance, battery endurance, etc.) Nor to details on the internal interface of the automobile. Aside from the marketing in North America, the Japanese also did not give details about his arrival in other regions of the world.

Sony reveals his electric car

It has been a few years since Sony announced his arrival on the automotive market. In 2020, the Japanese firm presented the vision-s, a concept car which seemed to be above all a technological show demonstration. In 2022, Sony unveiled the Vision-S 02, an electric SUV with seven places. Despite these announcements, none of the projects led.

During the CES 2023, Sony returned to the charge by presenting a new electric car model which will this time be well marketed with the general public. The car in question is called Afeela and has been drawn up in collaboration with Honda.

The word technology almost summarizes Afeela alone. In total, the car has 45 cameras and sensors for autonomous driving which should be in category 3. A lidar is also positioned above the car.

At the front of the vehicle, a light bar called Media Bar is present. This should allow the car to “express themselves” and it will be possible to personalize it according to its desires.

Entertainment in the center of Afeela

Sony wants to entertain passengers of the car and the driver when he is stopped (or in autonomous driving mode). An imposing screen is present on the dashboard next to a smaller one which is located facing the driver. At the rear, two screens are attached to the seats for passengers. It will be possible to watch movies and series, play PlayStation games or listen to music in 360 Reality Audio.

It is no less that the Unreal Engine 5 graphics engine which models the interfaces of the system and takes care of modeling maps.

No information on the technical sheet and the price of the vehicle was revealed during the presentation. Afeela cars will be assembled in the United States and the first deliveries are scheduled for spring 2026. Pre-orders will be open from the first half of 2025, only for the North American market.

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The Sony electric car should cost dearly

Sony Vision-S 02 // Source: Sony

New information on the car currently developed by Sony and Honda has been shared. It will not be on the roads before 2026 and should aim for the wealthy.

As surprising as it may seem, Sony, known for its PlayStation consoles, its expensive televisions and its abandoned VAIO computers, is currently developing … a car. And it is not an April fish: if this project can smile, it has become concrete as soon as Sony has come closer to the manufacturer Honda. However, it will be necessary to be patient. As Reuters indicates in an article published on October 13, the car will not be marketed before 2026 in the United States and Japan (Europe is being studied).

More interesting, the media tells us that Sony and Honda plan to opt for a business model inherited from the world of tech – which Sony knows well. In addition to a high input rate, considered ” premium “, It will allow” to generate recurring income thanks to services that would be billed all mes. In short, it would be another way of consuming the automobile, even if this idea of ​​the subscription already exists in Tesla with the premium connection (at € 9.99).

The Sony Vision-S // Source car: Sony

The PlayStation plus in the Sony car ?

Sony and Honda are obviously not frightened at the idea of ​​comparing the vehicle to a ” Smartphone with wheels »». What purpose ? Become a real platform on which a constellation of services to which drivers can be subscribed to be grafted. Sony is obviously responsible for the whole software part, including the features related to the cloud.

You can very easily imagine, for example, access to PlayStation Plus, which would allow occupants to play ambitious video games in their car – for a monthly cost. Other sources of entertainment are possible, such as a SVOD platform with films and series (this service, called Bravia Core, already exists for televisions). In short, Sony already has several strings to its bow to offer value added to the project.

The Japanese multinational will also provide sensors that will offer level 3 autonomous driving to the car. What is HONDA for in this association ? The manufacturer, already present in the electric segment with the Honda E model, brings its know-how in the automobile, such as the platform-physical-on which the car will be designed and the factory where it will be assembled (in Ohio). For the moment, technical details, such as autonomy, remain to be specified. By 2026, Honda and Sony still have time to refine the characteristics, especially since new technologies could improve the driving experience (on batteries, in particular).