Maybe the spotlight of final yr’s CES was Sony’s surprise battery electric concept car, the Vision-S. On the time, we thought that the Imaginative and prescient-S—which regarded like a cross between a Porsche Taycan and a Lucid Air—was largely meant to indicate off all of the totally different enabling applied sciences it contained, from sensors to leisure. Nicely, the Imaginative and prescient-S is again for this yr’s not-happening-in-Las-Vegas CES, and it appears the venture is perhaps slightly extra critical than we as soon as thought.

As you will see within the embedded video, Sony has been testing the Imaginative and prescient-S, each on a check monitor and public roads in Austria. Why Austria? That is the place Magna Steyr is positioned, a contract automobile producer that presently builds automobiles for different automobile corporations, together with the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar I-Pace, and Toyota Supra. And Magna Steyr is one in all Sony’s companions within the Imaginative and prescient-S, together with automotive tier 1 suppliers Bosch, Continental, and ZF, software program firm Elektrobit Automotive, mapping firm HERE, in addition to Nvidia, Blackberry (maker of QNX), and Qualcomm.

Over the previous yr, the Imaginative and prescient-S’s sensor depend has grown from 33 to 40, with Sony experimenting to see the way it can enhance the automobile’s 360-degree security system. The corporate has additionally been engaged on the inside to make it a extra enjoyable place to be, in line with Izumi Kawanishi, senior VP for Sony’s AI robotics enterprise group.

A clue to a future manufacturing automobile comes from Frank Klein, president of Magna Steyr. “I am very completely satisfied to see that the Imaginative and prescient-S was simply the start line of our joint cooperation,” Klein says within the almost-nine minute video. “We see that high-tech corporations like Sony have a significant impression on the mobility of the longer term.

Elsewhere on the Vision-S CES website, Sony discusses the Imaginative and prescient-S’s platform, together with the truth that it may be used for a various vary of car sorts. It most likely hasn’t escaped Sony’s consideration that the market is able to throw cubic {dollars} at anybody with even half an concept for a brand new electrical automobile—this is hoping that you’ll learn a street check of a brand new Sony battery EV on the pages of Ars Technica earlier than too lengthy.

Itemizing picture by Sony

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