The joint electric vehicle company Sony Honda Mobility has big plans to compete in the growing EV market. Even though the JV doesn’t have an EV model to show yet, the partners are already looking for ways to compete with top EV makers like Tesla by focusing on entertainment, which is what Sony is known for.
Sony has been teasing us with hints about its Vision S EV concept for a few years now, as its commercial release gets closer. The tech company has insisted on having better entertainment and software that can help build technology like self-driving cars. Also, Sony’s CFO said that the company would not “make batteries or vehicles” on its own.
Instead, they were working on making a deal with an existing automaker to work together. Sony and Honda started a joint venture in June to build a new electric vehicle company called (you wouldn’t have guessed it) Sony Honda Mobility. Even though Honda didn’t get into the rapidly growing EV market until fairly recently, the company has recently stepped up its efforts.
In October, Honda showed off the Prologue, its first mass-market electric SUV. It will be sold in the US for the first time in 2024, using GM’s Ultrium platform. The new Sony Honda Mobility JV plans to release its first electric vehicle (EV) in 2025. Even though the company doesn’t have a brand strategy yet, it is already looking for ways to use its strengths to compete with the best.
The Sony Honda Mobility EV will have high-end entertainment options like a PS5
In a new interview with the Financial Times, the leaders of Sony Honda Mobility talked about how the JV could use Sony’s powerful technology to compete with EV companies like Tesla. Izumi Kawanishi, Senior Vice President of Sony’s AI robotics business and Chief Operating Officer of Sony’s new business venture, explains how adding content and entertainment services to the EV can help them compete, saying:
People are moved by the content, services, and entertainment technologies that Sony has to offer. We are making these assets mobile, which is our advantage over Tesla. He also says that “Tesla does not offer any content services” and that it is “technically possible” for the Sony Honda Mobility EV to have a PlayStation 5.
As the company’s new CEO, Yasuhide Mizuno, explains, the new joint venture’s leaders insist that the company’s electric vehicles will focus on entertainment. We will build a car as the hardware for the entertainment and network we want to offer. It’s no surprise that Sony is using its entertainment and content to “upgrade” the driving experience.
To really enjoy the entertainment, though, some kind of self-driving feature will have to be added. To enjoy the space in your car, you have to make it a place where you don’t need to drive. Autonomous driving is the answer to this problem.
To get to that point, autonomous driving will have to change a lot from where it is now, and that will take time. Adding entertainment features is one way for Sony Honda Mobility to gain a competitive edge in the EV market. Still, the technology will probably need more time to improve before it can be used. Even if you can play your favorite video games, the car won’t be useful if it doesn’t drive itself. It will only be useful for passengers or when you stop.