Sony showcased the latest Afeela EV in a style befitting CES, steering it with finesse using a PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. The joint venture between Sony and Honda received a distinctive presentation during CES 2024.
In Sony’s prestigious CES 2024 keynote on Sunday, the emphasis was on 3D creation and forging synergy across its media, gaming, and entertainment products. A standout moment occurred when Izumi Kawanishi, President of Sony Honda Mobility, took the stage to reintroduce the new Afeela electric car, skillfully navigating it with a PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.
While the prospect of parking a Sony EV with a gaming controller remains a distant reality, Kawanishi clarified that this was purely a tech demonstration. Despite being the third appearance of the electric car at CES, it retained its familiar appearance, justifying the need for a captivating introduction.Sony and Honda executives later delved into additional details about the Afeela’s development, shedding light on the unique entertainment and safety technologies that this Japanese collaboration will bring to the roads.
Surprisingly, the Afeela shares more than just the controller with the PS5. It leverages Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5.3 to drive the 3D graphics and visuals on its expansive, ultrawide dashboard display. Occupants will enjoy intricate 3D maps, virtual spaces, and augmented reality perspectives of the Afeela’s surroundings, enhanced with internet-sourced metadata overlays. Sony’s extensive catalog of TV shows, movies, and games can also be accessed to keep passengers entertained during the journey and charging breaks.
Unreal Engine comes into play for rendering simulated environments used in training the Afeela’s multicamera driver assistance systems. The highly realistic graphics of UE5 contribute to enhanced safety by improving accuracy in training the visual models and neural network processing that empower the EV’s driver aid functions. Adding a touch of AI to the CES 2024 debut, Sony Honda Mobility revealed a new partnership with Microsoft, integrating the tech giant’s Azure AI cloud-scale computing into the Afeela’s development.
Sony concluded the Afeela presentation with a teaser about collaborating with Sony’s in-house game studio, Polyphony Digital, renowned for the Gran Turismo racing simulator and now a film franchise. Although details were scant, the automaker hinted at efforts to “bring together virtual and real-world experiences.”
Footage showcasing the Afeela racing along what appears to be Grand Valley Highway One—an iconic track from the GT series—hints at the possibility of our inaugural hands-on experience with the upcoming EV in Gran Turismo 7 in the near future.