If it’s the new year at CES, Sony must be putting a car on stage at its press conference. Only at CES 2023, the car that Sony showed off has a target release date.
This will be Afeela, the new car brand that is the result of the Sony Honda Mobility project that the two companies formed last June. As recently as last fall, Sony and Honda said they were preparing to have an electric car ready for pre-orders in 2025 — that’s the one we saw tonight (January 4).
Specifically, Sony executives say they plan to take pre-orders for the car in the first half of 2025. They expect deliveries by spring 2026.
If that sounds like a small gap between tonight’s press conference and the actual arrival of the first Afeela EV, consider that the long-rumored Apple Car has been pushed back to 2026 — and that car has yet to be confirmed, let alone announced.
It’s as if a lot of work is going on in Avila’s car. Qualcomm, which has done a lot of work with connected vehicles, will power the EV’s digital architecture. Epic Games is also partnering with the Unreal Engine to work on navigation solutions such as car screen animations.
The infotainment system is at the heart of the Afeela, as Sony executives describe a center console experience that will integrate the entertainment giant’s movies, music and games.
Details about the vehicle are scarce at this point, though Sony’s presentation touted the dozens of cameras and more than 40 sensors on the vehicle. Expect more information about Afeela to emerge in the coming months.
The Afeela represents the latest stop on a tortuous road for Sony’s automotive ambitions. At CES 2020, Sony unveiled its first car prototype to the surprise of many in attendance. Another prototype followed last year, as Sony outlined plans to form a mobility company that aims to bring its technological prowess to the automotive world. This led to a joint partnership with Honda, when the two companies announced plans to field a team last year.