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Asia Minute: Familiar name drives into a new field by exploring electric vehicles

Gadget Show Sony 010422
Joe Buglewicz/AP
FR171646 AP
The Sony Vision-S 02 electric SUV is debuted during the Sony news conference at the CES tech show, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Joe Buglewicz)

Toyota recently announced a wide range of electric vehicle models it plans to launch within the next decade. But the most recent news about electric vehicles comes from a different Japanese company — one that might surprise you.

Sony is more closely linked with movies, music and consumer electronics than cars — but the company is making new moves in the world of electric vehicles.

This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony unveiled a prototype of an electric sport utility vehicle.

CEO Kenchiro Yoshida announced the company is launching a subsidiary called “Sony Mobility” in the spring — to “explore entry” into the electric vehicle market.

Two years ago, Sony showed off a prototype of an electric sedan — a model that has since been road-tested in Europe.

Analysts say the company’s end game is not to create models to push automakers like Toyota off the road, but to continue to prepare for the world of self-driving cars.

Sony wants to be there when everyone’s a passenger — and the inside of your car turns into an “integrated entertainment environment.”

Designers of the new prototype have paid particular attention to passenger options — from perfecting specialty video screens to creating what Sony calls a “three-dimensional sound field.”

And there do happen to be connections for live streaming of video games — just in case any passenger might want to make use of a PlayStation console during a ride.

That console is, of course, made by Sony.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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