Considering the world’s interest in autonomous vehicles, many companies are jumping on board to provide interesting solutions to daily commute services and solutions.
With the same mission, Sony Corporation has collaborated with Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. back in 2016 to develop a self-driving people mover of their own, dubbed the SC-1 Sociable Cart. Designed solely to give a new mobility experience, the SC-1 is the fusion of Yamaha Motor’s autonomous driving technology and Sony’s entertainment imaging technology.
The all-electric vehicle has got several ultra-high sensitivity image sensors and cameras on board to read its surrounding, allowing for safe operation. These sensors and cameras combined with the high-resolution display installed inside the vehicle allow the passengers to see their surroundings at night even without any headlights.
The windows of the cart are replaced by aforementioned displays, one 49-inch 4K monitor for entertaining people sitting inside and four outside-facing 55-inch 4K monitors for people outside. The image sensor with artificial intelligence (AI) can determine the attributes (age, gender, etc.) of people outside the vehicle and optimize ads and other streaming info accordingly.
Along with the image sensors, the SC-1 features a 2D LiDAR system and ultrasonic sensors on-board to accumulate travel data in the cloud for deep learning analysis, which in turn supports optimized driving. This will ensure a safer travel experience. In addition, it is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes at all four wheels, double wishbone suspension to the front and link-type suspension at the back.
This five-passenger electric vehicle can reach the top speed of 19 kph (~12mph), very slow, but that speed is perfectly adequate for socializing.
Sony and Yamaha Motors intend to launch the SC-1 later this year in Japan, though it won’t be made available for general sale. “The SC-1 is designed to transform what was a mere means of mobility into an all-new opportunity for entertainment,” said Sony in a press release.