The Sony and Honda alliance is tasked with creating a new range of electric vehicles and is expected to launch as early as 2025.
Japanese electronics behemoth Sony and car manufacturer Honda have signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MOI) to establish a new joint-venture company.
The MOI is not a binding agreement, however, Sony and Honda say that the new strategic alliance will be established formally before the end of 2022, ahead of the first customer deliveries which will commence in 2025.
The joint venture company will plan, design, develop and sell the new electric car. Honda will manufacture the cars in its own companies.
Honda will utilise its experience in car development, manufacturing and the after-sales process (servicing and warranty) while Sony will use its “expertise in the development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network, and entertainment technologies” to cultivate a “mobility service platform”.
Sony presented concept cars at the Consumer Electronics Show and promised to compete with Tesla and their technology.
Sony’s expertise in camera, sensors and visual display are being funnelled into semi-autonomous driver assistance technology with engaging and eye-catching interior features.
The PlayStation console will be compatible with the new vehicle, thanks to the high-speed internet connections and cloud-based gaming. Theoretically, players should be able to pause the game in their room and resume playing in the car.
Sony President Kenichiro Yoshida says that “through this alliance with Honda, which has accumulated extensive global experience and achievements in the automobile industry over many years … we intend to build on our vision to ‘make the mobility space an emotional one,’ and contribute to the evolution of mobility centred around safety, entertainment and adaptability.
Honda Motor president Toshihiro Mibe says both companies have plenty that they will bring to the table.
“The New Company will aim to stand at the forefront of innovation, evolution, and expansion of mobility around the world, by taking a broad and ambitious approach to creating value that exceeds the expectations and imagination of customers,” he says.
“We will do so by leveraging Honda’s cutting-edge technology and know-how in relation to the environment and safety, while aligning the technological assets of both companies.
“Although Sony and Honda are companies that share many historical and cultural similarities, our areas of technological expertise are very different. Therefore, I believe this alliance which brings together the strengths of our two companies offers great possibilities for the future of mobility.”
The Australian launch for the new electric vehicle from Sony and Honda’s joint venture is yet to be confirmed.