Sony and Honda Mobility’s partnership finally has a name, and it’s meant to invoke some feelings. The new EV brand is known as “Afeela” and its electric prototype vehicle was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas.
It’s a sleek four-door sedan with minimal exterior appointments to take away from its curved silhouette and, ultimately, the Afeela electric vehicle concept looks like the future. While aesthetically pleasing upon first glance, the driver’s relationship with the vehicle is paramount for Afeela.
“AFEELA expresses an interactive relationship where people “FEEL” mobility as an intelligent entity, and mobility “FEELs” people and society using sensing and network IT technologies,” says Yasuhide Mizuno, Sony Honda Mobility Chairman and CEO.
So, what does the consumer get with the Afeela concept car?
A simple, spartan interior that Afeela describes as “wrapping the occupants in a soft cocoon” and is designed to keep distractions to a minimum with less ornamentation and jarring colors. The concept photo shows an interior of muted tones, flowing lines and a dash filled with enough screens to impress the folks at NASA’s Mission Control Center. It’s smooth and futuristic like a vehicle from “Tron: Legacy.”
Safety is enhanced through 45 cameras and sensors in and out of the vehicle. In-car cameras and time-of-flight sensors monitor the car and driver’s situation to avoid accidents. Afeela is also developing Level 3 automated technology and Level 2+ driver assistance for use in more environments and situations like urban driving.
An exterior “Media Bar” is mounted between the headlights to “allow intelligent mobility to express itself to surrounding people using light, enabling interactive communication between mobility and people.” I can see a future where the Media Bar is used to express strong reactions to fellow drivers on the road, but that’s just my take after failing to communicate my own sentiments clearly after being cut off during my morning commute.
“In line with our corporate purpose ‘Move people, through the pursuit of innovation with diverse inspirations,’ we aim to create a new mobility lifestyle by leading people’s hearts and minds towards an open, pleasant and exciting experience,” adds Mizuno. “To realize this, we aim to revolutionize the mobility space as a Mobility Tech Company, alongside like-minded people who are pioneering a new future with creativity, through cutting-edge technology, and with passion.”
To date, no vehicle specifications have been released. Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) plans to develop the production model from this prototype and preorders will start in the first half of 2025. Sales will commence by the end of 2025 and vehicle deliveries are expected to begin in spring 2026 in North America.