Japanese tech giant Sony has collaborated with Vodafone to give life to the catchphrase ‘look ma, no hands’ and road-tested the Vision-S 01 electric vehicle (EV) sedan concept on a testing track in Germany controlled remotely from Japan. The experience appeared similar to a car video game; except now, it’s reality.
The smartphone manufacturer has embraced the hype for EVs and is now showcasing and testing the capabilities of its high-tech vehicles.
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How it Worked
The Vision-S 01 was successfully remote-controlled from Tokyo on a 5G connection and was driven on a custom-built circuit in Aldenhoven, 9,363 km away. The test driver in Tokyo sat at his desk with a three-monitor arrangement and was able to bring the EV up to speeds of 61 km/h (38 mph) with an accelerator pedal from what appears to be a gaming steering wheel arrangement.
Interestingly, the setup also had a clutch pedal, but it was not necessary.
The video shows that there are no hands on the steering wheel of Sony’s Vision-S 01 concept but this does not render the Vision-S 01 autonomous. A driver was stationed inside the zero-emission vehicle as a precaution in case of a mishap.
Sony highlighted that the Vision-S 01’s built-in telematics system allowed video and control signals to be delivered with minimal latency. The unusual test is part of a study to develop codec and rate control technology that will aid the stable transmission of large amounts of video data in real-time.
The astounding demonstration puts Sony’s Remote Play feature on the next level after being introduced for its PlayStation consoles a long time ago. For now, the company also claims to be developing a “completely new mobility experience, such as a fusion of real and virtual”.
When Sony unveiled the Vision-S 02 SUV concept at the consumer electronics show (CES) 2022 earlier this month, it also announced the creation of a new ‘Sony Mobility’ firm for a possible entry into the EV market in spring. So, it might be possible that Vision-S 01 will be produced as well.
For the Vision S-02, Sony is working on an advanced autonomous driving system it calls ‘Safety Cocoon’ that will include the latter’s always-on connectivity with 33 sensors, COS-MOS, Solid-State LiDAR sensors, radar, and time-of-flight cameras.
Keeping in view the remote test conducted by Sony, it will be exciting to see if the PlayStation 5 manufacturer actually launches a cutting-edge EV with a remote-like controller for plenty of operations from pre-heating the interior before you head out to autonomously navigating from a parking lot to your pickup spot.