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Sony begins testing its electrical automobile idea on public roads

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This picture, taken in Tokyo, Japan on August seventh 2020, exhibits a prototype of Sony’s Vision-S electrical car.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sony has began testing its Vision-S electrical automobile on public roads, with the Japanese tech large stating that the event of the prototype car has “reached the next stage.”

In an announcement made on the tech occasion CES 2021 this week, the agency mentioned testing of the car started in Austria final month for what it described as “technical evaluation” because it appears to enhance its security.

Looking forward, Sony says it plans to proceed improvement work on the car and perform exams in different areas.

According to the enterprise, two 200 kilowatt motors — positioned at its entrance and rear — energy the four-seater automobile, which weighs 5,180 kilos, or 2,350 kilograms. The car makes use of 40 sensors to observe security and undertake a variety of duties similar to autonomous parking.

Given that the car is simply a prototype, and Sony is just not recognized for making automobiles, it stays to be seen what the corporate’s overarching plans for the Vision-S are.

On a web site outlining the undertaking and its specs, it describes each the content material and prototype car as being “intended to illustrate our future concepts in the area of mobility.”

Sony has, nevertheless, labored with some important gamers on the undertaking. These embrace car producer Magna Steyr.

Indeed, in one other video revealed by Sony on Monday, Frank Klein, the president of Magna Steyr, described the Vision-S as “just the starting point of our joint cooperation.”

Sony’s foray into mobility comes at a time when established gamers within the sector want to ramp up their electrical car choices and problem Elon Musk’s Tesla, which delivered 499,550 autos in 2020.

On Tuesday, the Volkswagen Group mentioned its Volkswagen Passenger Cars model had offered nearly 134,000 battery electrical autos in 2020, up from 45,117 in 2019. In addition, it additionally offered 78,000 plug-in hybrids final 12 months, in comparison with 37,053 in 2019. To put these figures into some kind of perspective, Tesla says it delivered 180,570 autos within the fourth quarter of 2020. 

In a press release, Ralf Brandstätter, the CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, was bullish on the corporate’s prospects going ahead. “We are well on track to achieve our aim of becoming the market leader in battery electric vehicles,” he mentioned.

In an indication of how issues are altering, final week noticed the CEO of Daimler emphasize the significance of low-emission applied sciences and innovation.

Speaking to CNBC’s Annette Weisbach, Ola Källenius mentioned the automotive business was “in the middle of a transformation.”

“Next to the things that we know well — to build, frankly, the world’s most desirable cars — there are two technological trends that we’re doubling down on: electrification and digitization,” he added.

Källenius’ feedback got here on the identical day Daimler introduced its Mercedes-Benz Cars division had offered over 160,000 plug-in hybrids and all-electric autos in 2020.

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