Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Sony and Honda unveil their joint electric car brand, AFEELA

Sony and Honda’s joint mobility venture has unveiled its new brand called AFEELA, which will include its range of battery-powered automobiles, at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. The new brand will appear on the joint venture’s first production electric car, set to go on sale in North America in 2026.

During the presentation, Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno said the car would leverage Sony’s experience with AI, entertainment, virtual reality, and augmented reality to present a unique EV.

The AFEELA looks quite different from previous Sony concept cars, apart from the satin gray paint. The concept unveiled on the stage was a sedan with a light bar across the front, a closed-off grille, and a high-gloss black roof. Some of the more interesting exterior features include black hubcaps and a light accent above the wheel wells.

The interior of the prototype is based on a gently rounded tone, wrapping the occupants in a soft cocoon. This creates a comfortable atmosphere and has been designed to be as simple as possible, minimizing distracting ornamentation and colors.

AFEELA electric car interior.
AFEELA electric car interior. Credit: SHM AFEELA

The 193-in (490-cm) five-seater prototype is equipped with a total of 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside the vehicle, enhancing the ability to detect objects and drive autonomously. AFEELA’s exterior features a “Media Bar,” which allows intelligent mobility to express itself to surrounding people using light, enabling interactive communication between mobility and people. The interactive mobility experience begins even before users get on board.

Sony Honda Mobility reports that the production model will be equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Digital Chassis technology to advance the intelligence of mobility. The Snapdragon Digital Chassis serves as the foundation for next-generation software-defined vehicles, enabling new mobility experiences and services.

Neither Honda nor Sony have given details about the battery or the motors. However, the car is known to have four-wheel drive and presumably uses the usual arrangement of two electric motors, one on each axle, to achieve that all-wheel drive.

The joint venture will develop the production model based on this prototype. Pre-orders are planned to begin in the first half of 2025, sales by the end of 2025, and delivery from spring in 2026 in North America.