Sony and Honda, which announced a joint venture last year to develop and build electric cars, have revealed the name of their new car brand. It will be called Afeela.
At a presentation during the Consumer Electronics Show, Sony Honda Mobility chief executive Yasuhide Mizuno revealed a prototype of the company’s first car, which looked like a mid-sized sedan, but he revealed little detail about it. The car will be available to order and even purchase in 2025, he said, but the first deliveries of the car would not take place in North America until 2026, he said. The car will be built at one of Honda’s factories.
“At the heart of this mobility experience is the word ‘feel,’” Mizuno said, explaining that focus will be on sensing and interacting with people.
The car will have safety and driver assistance systems from Honda along with entertainment and interactive features from Sony, Mizuno said. When developing the car, the emphasis has been on software and user interface technology as much as on driving dynamics and performance, he said.
Running above the car’s front bumper is a narrow exterior display screen the company calls the media bar. It will allow the vehicle to show information and interact with people outside the vehicle, Mizuno said.
Inside, the company is working with Unreal Engine graphics technology from Epic Games, the company that produces Fortnite, to design interfaces for the vehicle. Unreal Engine’s technology has also been used by other auto brands including General Motors, which used the technology in the Hummer EV. The car will come with a wealth of entertainment options, he said.
Mizuno also boasted of the 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside the vehicle, some of which are used to detect the condition of the driver to help ensure alertness and safety.