Tech fanatics at Las Vegas’s CES lollapalooza regularly see sights that surprise them, but there were eyebrows raised rather higher than usual at the 2020 event when electronics giant Sony unveiled an electric car.
The vehicle, dubbed the Vision-S, is a prototype packed (naturally) with the company’s latest electronic paraphernalia and a range of the most sophisticated safety features.
The PlayStation manufacturer was keeping quiet about whether the car, or any variant thereof, would ever be available to buy, but chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida merely talked about it being part of the brand’s “efforts to contribute to the future of mobility”.
We’ll just have to wait and see what that cryptic statement means.
Sony’s offering was in good company, joining a host of manufacturers showing off their automotive wares.
Nissan turned up mob-handed, with its Leaf e+, Ariya Concept and Formula E race car all on display. Fans of sweet treats will be happy to know all these sat alongside the manufacturer’s zero-emission ice cream van.
Audi presented the angular AI:ME show car, while Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Vision AVTR, which was apparently somehow inspired by the 2009 film Avatar.
Fiat showed off its Centoventi, a curiously Land Rover Defender-esque vehicle, Hyundai the spherical Mobis M Vision S, and BMW the i3, a vehicle purposely built with what the manufacturer calls an “abstract exterior” in order to make visitors concentrate on the interior, which the marketing people are calling the Urban Suite.
Less well-known manufacturers got a foot in the door as well, though, with the decidedly sporty-looking Fisker Ocean and Byton M-Byte both garnering attention.
Also in situ was the FF91, a luxury vehicle produced by Faraday Future (just in case you were wondering what the ‘FF’ stood for).
Tech company Yandex, a Russian outfit, couldn’t wait for the show itself, and had its autonomous taxis on display before the gates had even opened. That shows enthusiasm if nothing else.
Passenger vehicles were also represented, one example being the Metrosnap, which is the latest creation from the innovative Swiss brand Rinspeed.
The wares on display weren’t all ground-based, though – Hyundai also revealed the S-A1 Urban Air Mobility Concept. A big hand from delivery drivers for that one as they’ll never have to worry about aggressive dogs ever again.