It was 2020 when Sony surprised the world, or at least the CES attendees, with a show car. Called the Vision-S Concept, it's an electric saloon that aims to drive itself and with the tech giant behind the project, we could say that more than a handful of people were hopeful that it would reach production.
A year later, Sony showcased the Vision-S to the public again, but this time in a public road testing in Europe, which naturally sparked hope among production version hopefuls. Sony is indeed in constant development of the concept, but it won't reach production – not as a Sony-branded car anyway.
Gallery: Sony Vision-S concept
That revelation came from a Sony spokesperson who told Car and Driver that the company "has no plans to mass-produce or sell the vehicle."
So, yes, no matter how beautifully-designed the Vision-S Concept was, it's just a testbed for future automobile technologies, particularly in terms of safety and reliability in autonomous driving, as well as enhancing in-car entertainment and overall experience.
The Vision-S Concept currently has Level 2+ autonomous vehicle capabilities, limited to adaptive cruise control, a self-parking system, and automatic lane changing. Obviously, the tech giant isn't stopping there, with Level 4 in its sight.
In terms of technology, the Vision-S Concept also touts a sophisticated stereo with the company's 360 Reality Audio system, creating a sphere of sound per person. Of course, with 5G connection on board, playing video games while on the road is a must.
Imaging, optics, and entertainment, among others – Sony is showing us that its technologies can transcend to automobiles. Don't be surprised if one day a self-driving EV will arrive with Sony components. When that happens, you should remember there was once a good-looking Sony-branded car that catered its development.