Sony’s electric car concept unveiled at CES yesterday has been called one of the big shockers of the annual tech event in Las Vegas.

According to, it “appears” Magna Steyr built the prototype while Sony listed Benteler, BlackBerry, Bosch, Continental, Elektrobit, Genetex, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and ZF Friedrichshafen as partners.

Sony said in a statement its efforts in the area of mobility – such as “pursuing safety, reliability, comfort and entertainment” – are being positioned as a new initiative, named Vision-S. The prototype vehicle is the first to result from this programme.

The concept incorporates Sony’s imaging and sensing technologies, as well as on-board software regulated using its own AI, telecommunication and cloud technology, to continuously update and evolve features.

A total of 33 sensors including CMOS image sensors and ToF sensors are embedded within the vehicle to detect and recognise people and objects inside and outside the car, and provide highly advanced driving support. Sony’s 360 Reality Audio provides a deep and immersive audio experience through speakers built into each seat to encapsulate passengers in sound. The front seats face a panoramic screen on which content can be enjoyed via an intuitive user interface.

According to, CES “buzz” was that Sony’s EV surprise might be a form of outreach to automakers looking to perfect self-driving technology and that the Japanese company could be a smart partner which “still knows a thing or two about industrial design”.

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