Las Vegas - Sony is planning to launch a new mobility company this year, which will explore the possibility of entering the electric vehicle market. With this move, the Japanese tech giant is looking to harness its strengths in entertainment and sensors to play a bigger role in next-generation mobility.
The new company, called Sony Mobility, comes as the company is "exploring a commercial launch" of electric vehicles, Sony chairman and president Kenichiro Yoshida told a news conference, speaking ahead of the CES technology trade fair in the United States.
"With our imaging and sensing, cloud, 5G and entertainment technologies combined with our contents mastery, we believe Sony is well positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility," he said.
Although its once-dominant position in consumer electronics has been eroded by Asian rivals like Samsung, Sony still has an arsenal of sophisticated technology in areas such as sensors critical to autonomous driving.
It also remains one of the world's biggest entertainment companies, home to prominent video game and movie franchises. Audio and entertainment systems are increasingly a focus for next-generation vehicles.
At the show Yoshida unveiled a prototype SUV, the Vision-S 02, which uses the same electric vehicle platform as the previously announced Vision-S 01 sedan that began testing on public roads in Europe from December 2020.
He said the company saw mobility as an "entertainment space" where passengers could chose individual entertainment options and use 5G internet connection.
Wall Street is betting heavily on electric cars and the global motor industry has been upended by Tesla, which is now the world's most valuable carmaker. Many investors also expect Apple to launch its own vehicle within the next few years.