There’s no doubt that electric and autonomous cars are a profitable business. That is why Companies from other sectors are interested in entering this world, An example of this is Apple, which has been talking about its autonomous vehicle for years and which is expected to launch in the market in 2025.
However, there are other companies in the race that are hot on their heels and threaten to overtake them. One of them is Sony, which has come up with Honda to revolutionize the automotive sector. At the beginning of the month, both the companies gave an official presentation of their electric car Afila.
Sony Honda Mobility, a joint venture between the companies, He expects to be able to launch this vehicle in the market in 2026, Apart from all the features expected of a modern electric vehicle, this model will also come equipped with Sony’s extensive library of video games and multimedia properties for in-car entertainment.
Izumi Kawanishi, COO of Sony Honda Mobility, said in an interview, “If we sell the vehicle ourselves, we have to support it for 10 years, which is a very long time to provide our services. Basically, it is a long-term business.” ledge,
Honda is well aware of why it needs to involve Sony in the development of the Afela. “We have to strengthen our software technology. This means we can provide mobility services for the future.” We need to change business from hardware to software“, says the manager.
“We found we could create a more mobile entertainment space the size of a car, like a living room,” Kawanishi says.
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So far we’ve only been able to see Afeela prototypes at CES. Its exterior resembles a cross between a Tesla and a Lucid Air. Inside, it’s equipped with a full-width screen, 45 sensors and cameras to signal semi-autonomous driving assistance, all-wheel drive and augmented reality integration.
Based on these features, it looks like Sony’s first foray into the world of electric cars has far exceeded expectations and is ready to compete with the main manufacturers in the luxury electric vehicle space.
With Honda’s manufacturing expertise, it could represent a whole new market and Multiple sources of income for SonyWhich already has a huge presence in entertainment media and the devices we use to consume it.
Far from seeing it as a crime, those in the field believe that these kinds of unions can be very interesting. “These are brands that are hugely established in their sectors, and I think it will be very important going forward to achieve Customers trust these vehicles more autonomous features are added,” explains Jessica Caldwell, automotive industry analyst and CEO of Edmunds.
Something that maintains Tyson Jomini, vice president of data and analytics at automotive research firm JD Power. “On the surface, it’s about 2 Japan Inc.’s best and most well-known companies coming together in their respective fields. When you combine a consumer electronics company with the automotive space, I expect magic to happen” .
Although the burden of the automotive part should be borne by Honda, the fact is that the leading role was played by Sony during the presentation at CES. However, this should not be a problem for the Japanese car brand as it has a lot to achieve.
Honda is one of the few Japanese brands that is betting on electric cars. For the brand, Afila is part of a catch-up opportunity, as Afila will be using a proprietary platform called e:Architecture.
“From Honda’s perspective, they’re basically getting a customer to help pay for and catch up on their own EV development,” Jomini says. “There’s definitely some kind of hesitation for Japanese automakers to really get into the electric car world. But I think they’re acknowledging that’s where things are going,
With Honda, Sony has not only got a proven partner but also a massive manufacturing presence in the US. “If you look at Tesla, Rivian and others, where they really stumbled is in production,” explains Jomini.
Apart from cars, Sony is also working on these Building a Cloud Platform for Honda, “It seems that from Sony’s point of view, this is a complete integration of its users, their car to work from home and everything in between,” says the expert.
Even then Afila is expected to succeedThe reality is that about 20 or 25 electric vehicles are launched in the market in a year. This means that the cars from Sony and Honda can be diluted.