Showcased at the ongoing Japan Mobility Show is Sony and Honda’s electric vehicle (EV), the Afeela, which is developed through a joint venture called Sony Honda Mobility.
Izumi Kawanishi, President of Sony Honda Mobility, stated their intention to foster external app and software development. "We will open the development environment in mobility," he said, as quoted by Nikkei Asia.
The Afeela boasts features like facial recognition, programmable sound effects for acceleration, and the ability to play video games using Sony game controllers. It's powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor, much like smartphones, and supports 5G connectivity.
This shift towards software-defined vehicles aligns with the broader industry trend, with companies like Tesla pioneering over-the-air (OTA) software updates. It's estimated that software-defined vehicles could contribute over USD 650 billion in value to the automotive industry by 2030.
Sony, drawing from its subscription-based services like PlayStation, aims to tap into the potential of the Afeela, not only as a means of transportation but also as a platform for services and software revenue.
"The hardware is what's valuable, but we'll eventually see additional income from services and software," Kawanishi said, highlighting the evolving business model.
Online orders for the Afeela will open in 2025 in overseas markets, with North American deliveries starting in spring 2026 and Japanese deliveries later that year.
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