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CES 2024 | Sony demos Afeela PlayStation EV driven by DualSense controller as it teases Gran Turismo partnership

The Afeela got called up with a PS5 controller (image: Sony/YT)
The Afeela got called up with a PS5 controller (image: Sony/YT)
With Honda's brawn and Sony's brains, the 'PlayStation EV' Afeela will have a lot of the features that go in the world's most popular gaming console. Besides the Unreal Engine rendering of the Afeela surroundings, Sony also hinted at partnering with the studio behind Gran Turismo.

The EV brainchild of the Sony-Honda Mobility partnership - Afeela - got called on stage via a PlayStation 5 DualSense controller during Sony's CES 2024 keynote. Sony's first electric vehicle concept which it is developing together with Honda's automotive know-how, was fleshed out a bit more in terms of software and entertainment features.

Besides the already announced tie-up with Fortnite developer Epic Games, Sony touted a partnership with its own Polyphony Digital studio that is behind the Gran Turismo racing game franchise. Whether that will result in fine tuning the Afeela EV for acceleration and handling purposes, an appearance in the Gran Turismo 7 game, or in some sort of in-vehicle entertainment, remains to be heard.

Sony-Honda Afeela PlayStation EV release date

The Sony-Honda Afeela EV brand will have its first electric sedan on preorder next year, with North American release scheduled for 2026. It will thus have at least one more CES expo to showcase its features and drum up interest with stunts like the PS5 DualSense driving routine, since it has been slowly revealing new tidbits during the past few CES editions.

The Sony-Honda Mobility COO Izumi Kawanishi, who called the Afeela car on stage with the PS5 controller, warned that this is just a proof of concept demo, yet the car will offer AI-based autonomous driving features, as well as mixed reality rendering of the surrounding environment powered by Epic's latest Unreal Engine 5.3. Sony's best-in-class image sensors will be paired with LiDAR technology for unparalleled "mobility sensing" autonomous driving input, too.

The pillar-to-pillar display will thus overlay rich 3D interactive visuals on top of maps and other information pulled in real time, also from the new partnership with Microsoft's Azure AI services. In addition, Afeela EV occupants will be able to plug into Sony Entertainment's vast catalog of movies, TV series, and games to keep them occupied on the road or during stops and charging sessions.

According to Sony-Honda Mobility's (SHM) 2024 Afeela electric car keynote speech summary:

  • SHM aims to revolutionize how people move by redefining the relationship between people and mobility. SHM aims to realize AD/ADAS through the use of a number of sensing devices and AI in mobility.
  • To create our new user experience in mobility with vehicle data and sensing data, SHM is developing new entertainment and gaming features utilizing virtual space with Epic Games.
  • Aiming for mobility that continuously evolves according to user preferences, SHM will provide an open mobility development environment where creators and developers can freely develop applications and services that run on AFEELA.
  • SHM has also entered into an agreement with Microsoft to develop a conversational personal agent, using Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service.
  • SHM is starting a collaboration with Polyphony Digital in vehicle development. To develop vehicles that fuse the virtual and the real, mainly in the area of human senses and emotions by combining Polyphony Digital’s simulation technology with the development of actual vehicles by SHM.

The DualSense fun with the latest Afeela sedan prototype starts at about 29 minutes into the Sony CES 2024 keynote in the video below.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 01 > Sony demos Afeela PlayStation EV driven by DualSense controller as it teases Gran Turismo partnership
Daniel Zlatev, 2024-01- 9 (Update: 2024-01- 9)