Sony, Honda tease EV that aims to be a lounge on wheels

'Afeela' packs Qualcomm kit, screens galore, runs Android and will have an app ecosystem

Video Sony and Honda have unveiled Afeela – a software-defined vehicle the two present as a Qualcomm-powered entertainment system on wheels. Or you could use it for transport.

"We will nurture Afeela as mobility with intelligence. In addition, we will pursue new possibilities on top of conventional car values, so that mobility can become a unique and endearing presence for users," stated Sony Honda Mobility (SHM), the entity created by the two companies to produce the vehicle.

Honda brings automotive skills and aftersales service. Sony handled the imaging, sensing, telecommunications, network, and entertainment kit.

SHM said that Afeela will continually evolve as the company will allow creators and developers to develop applications and services that run on Afeela and provide a digital platform for "co-creation."

More details on the platform are promised in the coming days. For now, items that can be created are content for the "media bar," panoramic screen themes, eMotor sounds, and navigation services. Cloud APIs facilitate server-to-server connection.

Nothing should be overly hard for developers because Afeela runs Android.

Here's a Japanese television report that shows a little of Afeela's innards.

Youtube Video

Some reports have noted that the futuristic design eschews door handles in favor of facial recognition.

But forget driving – once the user makes it inside, they will see large horizontal touchscreen displays in which they can enjoy video or audio content, advancing the notion that cars these days are a "living room on wheels."

The name Afeela is intended to bring consumers into a sensory-focused space because, according to its makers, "feel" is at the "center of the mobility experience."

The Reg would have preferred a riff on classic Sony product names like "Walkman" or "PlayStation" if only because "DriveMan" or "Carstation" would avoid the need for the previous paragraph.

Such stuff appears, however, to be unavoidable as SHM is also big on "3A": autonomy, augmentation, and affinity.

The project was initially announced in October 2022, along with details that SHM intended to build Afeela in the USA (hello, tax incentives!). Delivery was slated for 2026 – first in North America, followed by Japan.

At the time, SHM planned for Afeela to have level 3 automated driving in limited situations and level 2 in other environments, similar to systems built by Tesla, Ford, and others. Entertainment was promised from Epic Games.

The EV is outfitted with 45 cameras and sensors, and computing power of 800 trillion operations per second from Qualcomm's automotive SoCs. ®

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