Although it will have powerful autonomous driving capabilities, the AFEELA has entered the CES Las Vegas 2024 stage with a style more similar to a video game. Autonomous driving has been on everyone’s lips in recent years, but Sony Honda Mobility has (again) presented its extremely advanced electric car in another, no less symbolic way: controlling the vehicle with a Play Station 5 controller.
Cars are changing from a means of transportation with certain technology to a technological product that is used for transportation. Hence many new models and technologies are presented at shows like CES Las Vegas. Where once it was rare to see, it is now common.
We already knew the car resulting from the union between Sony and Honda: it is called AFEELA and now it has been presented again, this time to give more details about its technology and with a design that is very close to the production version.
Your driving assistants will learn about driving and the environment using artificial intelligence; will have an augmented reality tool to simulate external environmental conditions, such as information from other vehicles, pedestrians, terrain, and weather to improve safety; and make all this possible, it will have an impressive processing capacity.
However, none of that has been the most striking thing about the presentation at CES Las Vegas 2024. The most striking thing has been seeing Izumi Kawanishi, executive vice president of Sony and currently COO of Sony Honda Mobility (SHM), bring the car to the stage controlling it with the controller of a Play Station 5 (PS5), the latest generation of Sony’s video game console. It’s not a joke, the following video is proof.
Logically, Sony being one of the creators of this car (along with Honda), the wink was clear. But there is more because the AFEELA can become an entire on-board entertainment platform. AFEELA will use the Unreal Engine 5.3 game engine, the most advanced version of this tool created by Epic Games.
On the other hand, SHM will begin a collaboration with Polyphony Digital, the creators of the Gran Turismo saga, for the development of its vehicles. In this way, the development of the vehicle will merge the virtual and the real, combining Polyphony Digital’s simulation technology with SHM’s real vehicle development.
SHM has also signed an agreement with Microsoft to develop a “conversational personal agent” that will use the Microsoft Azure OpenAI service with natural language recognition and machine learning.
What do we know about its technical specifications?
We have talked a lot about its technology and concepts such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and integrated connectivity. But what about the specifications of the AFEELA?
As for its dimensions, it measures 4,915 mm long by 1,900 mm wide and 1,460 mm high, with a distance between axles of 3,000 mm nailed. It is a similar length to the Mercedes EQE, for example.
Its drive is made up of two electric motors with 245 HP (180 kW) of power each. It has a motor on each axle, so it has four-wheel drive. Both motors are permanent magnet synchronous motors.
The battery will have 91 kWh capacity. Few other details are known at the moment, apart from the rapid recharging of 150 kW of direct current power. The range has not been announced, although the images have given a clue: with around 80% of the charge the vehicle indicates 234 miles of range (377 kilometers). This would give about 472 kilometers of range with a full battery, although it is speculation, and, probably, the figure is somewhat higher in homologation given the capacity of its battery and the good aerodynamics of the car.