Sony Honda PlayStation 5 EV Afeela to actually launch with Fortnite's Epic as gaming partner
The Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) joint venture announced its electric vehicle brand - Afeela - and presented the first prototype under its strategy to fuse electric transportation with augmented reality and entertainment. While previously Sony teased that Afeela may support the PlayStation 5 ecosystem, SHM's first gaming partnership is actually with Fortnite's Epic Games and its Unreal Engine platform.
Sony Honda spent more time talking about the prototype as an infotainment and AI platform, rather than fleshing out the actual electric car specs like range on a charge or battery capacity. The Afeela sedan has certain Lucid Air design vibes, and is equipped with a total of 45 cameras and sensors, including interior cameras and Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors to "detect the driver and car’s situation to help avoid accidents."
Computing power will be provided by Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Chassis chipsets capable of 800 TOPS calculations performance. Sony Honda will use the sensors, radars, and cameras input "to develop Level 3 automated drive under limited conditions and to enable Level 2+ driver assistance in even more situations such as urban driving."
Besides Honda's automotive prowess, the Afeela brand's added value that will give it a chance against Tesla and the like, will be Sony's powerful entertainment platform. While the "technically feasible" PlayStation 5 ecosystem support may come at a later date, the Afeela sedan will launch with Sony's movies and other music streaming services, as well as in-car console or cloud gaming in cooperation with Epic and its Unreal Engine. Epic will actually help Sony Honda with the VR/AR aspect of the driving experience as well:
- A new Human-Machine Interface will be introduced, providing a personalized in-car experience through cloud-service connectivity, realizing entertainment beyond driving.
- We aim to evolve mobility space into entertainment and emotional space, by seamlessly integrating real and virtual worlds, and exploring new entertainment possibilities through digital innovations such as the metaverse.
- We have started to build new values and concepts for mobility with Epic Games. We aim to provide intuitive navigation through augmented reality (AR) using our sensing technology.
As far are design and interior go, Sony Honda will keep things clean and minimalistic as much as possible on the inside, "minimizing distracting ornamentation and colors," while on the outside the Afeela sedan will sport the so-called Media Bar. That is essentially an illumination system that "allows intelligent mobility to express itself to surrounding people using light, enabling interactive communication between mobility and people."
Preorders of the Afeela sedan will start in 2025, while the first deliveries in North America are scheduled for the spring of 2026.
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