Sony surprised everyone at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show with the debut of the Vision-S concept car. It took the shape of a sleek electric vehicle with advanced autonomous systems and a pair of 268-horsepower (200-kilowatt) electric motors. At first, we thought the Tokyo-based company could be testing the waters of entering the auto industry but an executive later confirmed it is not becoming an automaker.
Well, we are getting mixed signals now. Sony has just confirmed it has shipped the Vision-S back to Japan where the firm will continue advancing its “sensing and audio technologies.” The more interesting part of the announcement is that the concept will begin public road tests before the end of the year.
Gallery: Sony Vision-S concept
“Vision-S Prototype has arrived in Tokyo for advancing our sensing and audio technologies,” Sony says. “The prototype vehicle is also currently under development for public road testing this fiscal year.”
As a reminder, the Vision-S has been developed by Sony in cooperation with big names such as Nvidia, Continental, Bosch, ZF, and Qualcomm. The all-electric sedan’s main goal was to showcase what Sony can offer to the automotive industry, including its advanced self-driving system with no less than 33 sensors.
But it’s not just a static prototype. A video accompanying the announcement shows the Vision-S in motion and that’s not the first time we see it in action. In fact, Sony claims it can accelerate from a standstill to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) in just 4.8 seconds.