The closest thing Sony has come to anything related to driving is the PlayStation console that offers numerous racing games like Gran Turismo and Need For Speed. Later iterations of these titles have become increasingly realistic with their detailed graphics and improved gameplay. However, they’re still just digitized effigies of the real thing.
That’s not a bad thing, but it certainly doesn’t help Sony’s cause to “deliver products, content and services that resonate with people and effect a positive impact on society.” No one in the world really cares about some couch potato setting the fastest lap time on a virtual Nurburgring track. But the real cars that lap the actual Green Hell do, and so Sony created just that.
Sony’s Vision-S concept is basically a suite of safety, reliability, comfort and entertainment breakthroughs geared to position the company as a leader in mobility. To that end, the Japanese tech firm has created a prototype electric vehicle to showcase how its technology can be integrated into a vehicle and directly impact its occupants.
A lot of prize cars on Gran Turismo games are concept vehicles, and the Vision-S does look like a worthy reward after completing a difficult challenge in the game. The car has lines that appear to have been inspired by the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S. Underneath that sculpted body, however, is a slew of high-tech gadgets that make the car an intelligent one as well.
Embedded in the Vision-S are no fewer than 33 sensors for the vehicle’s interior and exterior. CMOS image sensors accurately detect and recognize objects, so there are hints of the car’s autonomous driving capabilities. In-cabin ToF (time-of-flight) sensors barrage the interior with numerous distance measurements to precisely determine the location of people and objects within the car.
Working with the sensors is an advanced infotainment system that is projected on a panoramic display spread across the dashboard, as well as two more screens behind the front seats. With the sensor network constantly keeping watch, this system can offer occupants anything from advanced gesture to fine-tuning Sony’s 360 Reality Audio surround-sound system.
There is no word yet as to what sort of performance the Vision-S is capable of, or if people can experience it as a usable vehicle in a video game. While it is clearly not designed to kick supercar butt around the Nordschleife, it might yet pave the way for Sony to be as good with real cars as it is with virtual ones.