Tesla vs. Sony


Sony Officially Reveals Car To Beat Tesla

Sony’s surprise concept car from CES last January has arrived in Tokyo acting suspiciously like a real car so what is Sony’s plans for the Vision S. With cars becoming more and more like play stations why not have the company that makes play stations make a car. The Vision S was introduced as a concept and test bed for Sony’s technology even though it was a functioning car. It was never meant for production but last month Sony released a video announcing testing for the Vision S but testing for what? The consumer electronics show held in Las Vegas every year has traditionally been a time when things like gaming consoles and fancy peripherals are released. To grab headlines a company might introduce the rare dancing robot for 2020. There were more than a few reveals that are usually reserved for shows in Geneva or Detroit. This year CES featured more than a few car companies or would-be car companies revealing their own new technology.


Mercedes-Benz revealed a car inspired by the blockbuster Avatar that could drive sideways for some reason, Lamborghini revealed a hurricane with Alexa which you could order the lord of the rings saga on DVD while you're getting pulled over for doing 180 miles an hour so you have something to pass the time while your license is suspended. To top that there was not one but two flying taxis means flying cars. 

Mercedes Benz


The unfulfilled promise of technology expos, Walter waterman revealed the first flying car concept back in 1934 any day now folks another twofer at the 2020. CES were concept cars called the Vision S, one was from not surprising that they made a car Hyundai who revealed the M Vision S – a self-driving lounge that would drive passengers presumably to their flying taxi. The other was from totally surprising that they made a car Sony who's surprised with their own Vision S sedan not a digital car for their popular Gran Turismo series but a real physical you can sit in it and drive it car. One would expect from a car made by Sony insomuch as one would expect Sony to make a car the Vision S, featured an extensive use of screens lots and lots of screens. The modern electric car has made the large infotainment touch screen as normal as plugging your car in instead of fueling it up.


Sony has taken that concept and run screaming with it where cars like Tesla and the Ford Mustang Mach E might be content with a 10 or 15 inch touch screen. Sony has installed three rectangular screens across the dash from one end of the car to the other with the middle and passenger side both being touch screens like most so-called infotainment systems. The screens can be used to call up Sony movies and music. It is their car after all as well as climate controls and other car needs since there's a steering wheel between the driver and the left side screen for now there is also a trackball with multi-touch and multi-function dial that can click through options increase volume and more naturally you can't leave people in the back out of the screen fun so they each get their own set of screens as well with all that screen action each seat comes with a set of speakers that Sony claims allows everyone to listen to their own stuff provided. We assume everyone cooperates on volume levels even the rear view duties are handed over to screens all of this impressive technology sits atop.

Aston Martin

What is quickly becoming the standard for electric cars? Two 200 kilowatt motors driving one axle each are enough to drive the car from nothing to 60 miles an hour in 4.5 seconds before the whole thing tops out at 149 miles per hour four and a half seconds to 60 and a buck 50 top speed is pretty respectful for entry-level performance cars but the Tesla Model S does its shimmy to 60 in 2.4 seconds and their upcoming roadster is looking at a 220 mile per hour top speed. The performance figures for this Vision S are more on par with Tesla's entry option the Model 3.


Depending on what flavor of model 3 you buy you get the 60 shuffle in 5.1 to 3.5 seconds and the number on your framed speeding ticket will top out at 162 miles per hour. The star of the Vision S is clearly the electronics inside, in fact the car part was outsourced to Magnus stir and they didn't reveal.


The all-important battery electric vehicle stat the range given those numbers it would look for the entire world that Sony had unveiled a car to compete with Tesla's model 3. A forty thousand dollar to sixty thousand dollar rolling access to all the entertainment Sony has to offer and other stuff I guess if you insist remember those rear view screens well rear view screens need rear view cameras and the Vision S has a total of 10 cameras looking all around the car. An array of cameras aren't the only thing keeping track of the Vision S's surroundings they're also accompanied by a raft of sensors including both radar and lidara kind of radar that uses lasers instead of sound. While Sony making a car was a surprise Sony getting into the car sensor game wasn't that happened back in 2014 when Sony announced an investment in the company ZMP that developed sensors for robotics and in 2018 Sony invested a staggering 5.3 billion dollars with a B investment in autonomous car sensor technology research that 5.3 billion dollar investment is now sitting quietly in the Vision S and is why the Vision S is a functional car and why late last month Sony teased that.


The car was going to enter autonomous driving testing soon in Tokyo, a seeing car is a hard thing to demonstrate in a mostly static consumer electronics show but the sensor array was clearly. The star of the Vision S and the screens were just a way to grab some iballs. Sony’s claim that their sensor array can see better than the human eye and the testing in Tokyo they hope will be the game changer that autonomous cars need to clear the hurdle from test beds to consumer reality. One thing that is set to become a reality though is Sony as a car manufacturer. Sony has no plans to make the vision as a car. You can buy or any other kind of car nor has steer magna. The developer of the drive train instead the Vision S will live as a test bed for the sensor technology. 



Why go through the trouble of building a car if Sony isn't going to build cars?

It's easy to understand why Sony might be reluctant to enter the car market for every Tesla that has emerged as a market leader in battery electric cars. There's a fisker that comes and goes in a year after a delay in battery production sank the entire company that caused the fisker name to be sold off, separate from the karma car fisker maid a reformed fisker is hoping their new ocean SUV will fare better. It's not just startups that are at risk in the automotive world in 2008 through 2010. A financial downturn threatened the entire American automotive industry. The result was the end of several brands like Saturn, Plymouth, Mercury and Hummer domestically and companies like SAAB that had been owned by GM abroad with the future of the automobile at stake entering the car market can be both a huge opportunity or a massive loss.


With little wiggle room in between this would also put Sony in a tight spot regarding partners by building their own car around their sensors instead of taking on an existing car and putting their sensors in it gives Sony the ability to control all the factors and more importantly it doesn't have to share any headlines. There's another reason that Sony might not want to commit itself to a single manufacturer and that's thanks to the way the future of cars in general is shaping up car companies that have for a century been able to rely on some variation of Carl Benz's internal combustion engine are now having to quickly scramble to develop and adopt technology that is well out of their comfort zone from battery technology electric drive train skateboards and self-driving technology in order to do that as quickly as possible without wasting tons of money. Starting from scratch or dead ends they're having to do what tech companies have been doing for years invest in other tech companies playing catch up with Tesla and their love it or hate it or wonder what exactly he has done thinking cyber truck ford has invested in startup Rivian to help develop electronic pickups and trucks likewise GM has invested in the company Lordstown. To do the same thing these kinds of investments range from companies developing their own skateboards or electric car platforms to batteries and self-driving technology.


Of course Sony is no startup instead it's an established consumer electronics giant that is hoping that a 5.3 billion dollar investment will bring even more billions down the road by providing sensor technology for the self-driving future, to do that they need more than a shiny box that looks like a car but an actual car. The race to self-driving cars has been one that has generated a lot of interest as of march of last year over 80 billion dollars have been spent testing and developing self-driving cars and that's just starting in 2014. According to a Brookings institution report that includes individual manufacturer investment as well as startup and venture capital spending. All of that money and the best we have is a car that can kind of help you stay in your lane or slowly find you in a parking lot as long as you're not too far away. The reality is we're no closer to a self-driving car now than we were a flying car when waterman unveiled the flying car in 1934. 

Tesla Road Car


In an interview with Reuters at the Geneva auto show last year VW said an autonomous car future as it stands now require latest generation computing technology constantly updated high definition maps and perfect conditions things as common as a puddle or rain would force the driver to take back control of the car on top of all that. The power drain from all the computing cancels out the efficiency benefit of having the car drive itself while all that seems daunting Sony and other companies are banking on a constant referred to as Moore’s law specifically Moore’s law suggests that around every 18 months or two years the number of semiconductors in a chip will double while computers will become cheaper.


While that specifically isn't true anymore the idea that computing power continues to improve on a fairly predictable arc has more or less held true if Sony can be the company that figures out how to make a self-driving car not get thrown off by a puddle or able to read an old country road sign. The locals used as target practice they stand to be the leader in a field that already has 80 billion dollars in investment and that could mean billions in technology sales. For Sony so you won't be able to buy a Vision S but you may be able to buy a car with vision s technology would you want a Sony?


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