Sony is on the lookout to add more technology partners to its electric vehicle (EV) initiative to create an innovative mobility business that will transform automobiles from usual transportation machines into entertainment spaces.
The news was revealed to Reuters by a Sony executive.
Sony’s Senior General Manager, Izumi Kawanishi, who will oversee its new Sony Mobility division, said, “We see the risk of ignoring EVs as greater than the challenge they pose”. He likened the upcoming revolution of vehicles to the information technology that transformed phones into smartphones.
The paradigm shift toward EVs, which are easier to manufacture than cars with internal combustion engines, is opening the vehicle manufacturing industry up to new entrants. Moreover, 5G connectivity and autonomous driving features are likely to simultaneously revolutionize the automotive sector by transforming automobiles into mobile platforms for entertainment and information, and shared mobility services.
Sony has developed two test mules with a plant in Austria that is owned by Magna International, a Canadian auto parts manufacturer that also produces vehicles for BMW, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz.
Its Europe-based initiative comprises Bosch, a well-known German car parts manufacturer, Valeo SE, a French automotive technology company, and AImotive, a Hungarian autonomous vehicle start-up.
Sony’s Chief Executive, Kenichiro Yoshida, announced the development of Sony Mobility at the CES technology tech fair in Las Vegas this month, signaling for the first time that the company is considering turning a two-year-old EV development project into a profitable business.