The Afeela prototype was unveiled by Sony and Honda over a year after the two firms announced their intentions to jointly produce and market electric automobiles.
The four-door sedan 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 receive the first shipments in the spring of 2026.
The new EV will initially be produced at Honda’s North American factory and will have Level 3 automated driving capabilities under certain restrictions, according to prior statements from Sony and Honda. In a vehicle with level 3 autonomy, the driver can still operate the vehicle in congested areas, but only when the system explicitly requests it.
The integration of external media along the front of the car, which enables it to communicate with other drivers and transmit critical information, was one of the new design aspects that Sony presented today.
According to Yoshida, “We intend to investigate the potential of how media might generate a joyful and thrilling mobility encounter.”
According to Yoshida, the prototype is also outfitted with 45 cameras and sensors both inside and outside the car to assure security. To avoid accidents, the in-cabin sensors will keep track of the driver’s condition.
According to Yoshida, Afeela will also offer top-notch entertainment to its patrons. The Sony-Honda JV will use the 3D computer graphics game engine Unreal Engine from Epic Games into its automobiles to help envision not only entertainment in cars but also communication and safety.
Yoshida stated, “We foresee a new in-cabin experience leveraging our understanding of UX and the UI technologies, in addition to movies, games, and music.
According to Kim Libreri, chief technology officer of Epic Games, intuitive interactive photo real augmentation—which Unreal Engine excels at—is the most natural method to represent significant data inside the car.
The automobile will eventually develop into a next-generation location for social connectivity. not just for the residents but also for their social and professional network. It will integrate with the rest of our digital lives, 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 a swanky infotainment system.