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Sony used a PS5 controller to drive its AFEELA EV onto stage at CES

2024-01-09 19:54 by
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Sony's partnership with Honda around a new concept EV called the AFEELA has been a highlight of CES for several years now. And while we're not any closer to finding out if and when this car will become a reality, Sony had a fun way to show off the latest iteration of the vehicle: they drove it onto the Sony CES 2024 stage with a PlayStation DualSense controller. Yasuhide Mizuno, CEO of Sony Honda Mobility Inc., stated that this was "for the purpose of stage showcase only."

This year, the press conference focused on Sony's software plans for its new vehicle – along with a heap of the latest buzzwords, mostly to do with AI.

Sony is focusing on its electronics expertise by highlighting the car's sensing and infotainment systems. Like just about every electric car coming out these days, the AFEELA will have a wide array of sensors for potential autonomous driving tasks, such as to park itself even when the driver leaves the electric car. 

The car also features a thematic cabin. Here, the driver can choose a certain theme that they want for their driving experience, and the smart cabin will automatically change its lighting, sound, and display to correspond to the chosen theme.

It turns out that the AFEELA has more in common with PS5 than just the controller. For starters, it uses Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5.3 to power the 3D graphics and visuals that fill its massive, ultrawide dashboard display. Drivers and passengers will be treated to detailed 3D maps, virtual spaces and augmented reality views of the world around the AFEELA, which can have internet-sourced metadata overlaid. Media from Sony's various TV, movie and gaming catalogs are also able to be tapped to keep passengers entertained on the road, and when parked and charging.

The AFEELA electric car is set to have a front and rear electric motor power of 180 kilowatts and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery capacity of 91 kilowatts. Stepping inside the vehicle, a noticeable low-contrast color palette and series of fine textures create an inviting space for the driver and passengers, with seats that are made of aluminum and glass. While AFEELA is already heading towards mass production, Sony Honda Mobility has yet to announce a defined timeline for its electric car.

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