The new joint venture that Honda recently formed with Sony will use the latter’s music, movies, and, potentially, even the PlayStation 5 to gain an advantage over the competition. More than just a car, the vehicle that the companies create will be a tech showcase on wheels.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Izumi Kawanishi, the president of Sony Honda Mobility, argued that the new company is perfectly positioned to tap into consumers’ shifting preferences and the invasion of high-tech gadgetry into the automotive industry.
“Sony has content, services and entertainment technologies that move people. We are adapting these assets to mobility, and this is our strength against Tesla,” said Kawanashi.
The former head of Sony’s AI robotics business added that it was technologically possible to integrate Sony’s much-loved video game console, the PlayStation 5, into the car. That may mean that owners can someday play Gran Turismo 7 from the comfort of their car.
This isn’t just some pie-in-the-sky idea that is possible, though. Yasuhide Mizuno, the chair of the joint venture who was formerly in charge of Honda’s car division, said that Sony Honda Mobility will be adapting its production process in order to put content first.
Rather than inserting software into an already complete car, it “will develop a car as hardware that will cater to the entertainment and network we would like to offer.” Making the use of these features safer and easier will be the company’s focus on developing self-driving vehicles.
“To enjoy the space in your car, you have to make it a space where you don’t need to drive. The solution for this is autonomous driving,” said Kawanishi. “Autonomous driving will have to evolve considerably from the current level to get to that point, and it will take time for that to happen.”
That’s a lofty goal, though, as the pursuit of self-driving technology has proven tricky. With major players in the field of autonomy such as Argo AI falling by the wayside as profitability remains “a long way out,” early owners of Sony Honda Mobility vehicles, which plans to launch its first U.S. vehicle in 2025, may have to wait awhile before they can game while they commute.