Sony Honda Mobility Inc. (SHM) announced its new brand “AFEELA”, and unveiled a prototype as a new type of mobility, at CES® 2023 which opens to the public in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA and online from January 5, 2023 (Thursday) local time.
Prior to the public unveiling, Representative Director, Chairman and CEO Yasuhide Mizuno took the stage at a press conference held on Wednesday, January 4 (local time). A summary of his speech at the press conference follows:
- SHM strives to become a Mobility Tech Company that will pursue innovation in mobility by combining cutting-edge technology and passion along with people who pioneer the future with their creativity, based on our corporate purpose “Move people, through the pursuit of innovation with diverse inspirations.”
- SHM announces its new brand, “AFEELA,” along with the unveiling of a prototype that demonstrates a new relationship between people and mobility.
- Towards realizing safety and security: Our prototype is equipped with a total of 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside the vehicle, together with 800 TOPS of maximum computing power for ECU.
- Mobility space into entertainment space by seamlessly integrating real and virtual worlds. To begin with, SHM has started to build new values and concepts for mobility with Epic Games.
- SHM will develop the production model based on this prototype. Pre-orders are planned to begin in the first half of 2025, sales by the end of 2025, and delivery from spring in 2026 in North America.
- To advance the intelligence of mobility, SoCs from Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon Digital Chassis will be used in key features including AD/ADAS, HMI/IVI, and telematics. SHM is building a strategic technology partnership with Qualcomm Technologies to realize next gen mobility experience.
- SHM begins collaboration with Epic Games to create new value in mobility services and entertainment.
1. Purpose and Identity
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. 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.
2. New Brand “AFEELA”
SHM has announced its new brand “AFEELA” that represents “FEEL,” which is at the center of the mobility experience.
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.
3. Prototype Unveiled
SHM unveiled a prototype that expresses its vision of creating a new relationship between people and mobility. SHM will develop the production model based on this prototype, and plans to start taking pre-orders in the first half of 2025, commence sales by the end of 2025, and to begin delivery from spring in 2026 in North America.
The design of this prototype aims to create a new value standards for mobility. As we reach an inflection point where the elements of a car is shifting from power and performance to software, networks, and user experiences, we reexamined the individuality and form of vehicle design up until now, and by further refining, we aimed to highlight the essential values and sublimate them into a pure and strong design.
AFEELA’s exterior features “Media Bar” which allows intelligent mobility to express itself to surrounding people using light, enabling interactive communication between mobility and people.
The interior is based on a gentle rounded tone, wrapping the occupants in a soft cocoon. Not only is the atmosphere comfortable, but has been designed to be as simple as possible, minimizing distracting ornamentation and colors. We aim to realize a people-centric experience that provides functionality that people want.
4. A Glimpse of SHM’s value-added concepts based on 3A’s (Autonomy, Augmentation, Affinity)
- We will provide pleasant mobility space founded on safe and secure technologies.
- We aim to develop Level 3 automated drive under limited conditions and to enable Level 2+ driver assistance in even more situations such as urban driving.
- We plan to use the SoCs*1 from Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Chassis for 800 TOPS*2 maximum computing performance as hardware.
- Our prototype is equipped with a total of 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside the vehicle. In-car cameras and Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors*3 detect the driver and car’s situation to help avoid accidents.
- A new HMI*4 will be introduced, providing a personalized in-car experience through cloud-service connectivity, realizing entertainment beyond driving.
- We aim to evolve mobility space into entertainment and emotional space, by seamlessly integrating real and virtual worlds, and exploring new entertainment possibilities through digital innovations such as the metaverse. We have started to build new values and concepts for mobility with Epic Games.
- We aim to provide intuitive navigation through augmented reality (AR) using our sensing technology.
We will build an open community for not only customers, but our automotive industry partners, leading players in other industries, and the creative community which will take on the challenge with us to create new mobility entertainment.
Our initiatives in new services will evolve and grow through continuous software updates via the 5G network.
[Creating New Values with Partners]
Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
To advance the intelligence of mobility, SoCs from Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon Digital Chassis will be used in key features including AD/ADAS*5, HMI/IVI*6, and telematics. SHM is building a strategic technology partnership with Qualcomm to realize next gen mobility experience.
“The car is becoming increasingly connected and intelligent, and how we experience our vehicles is changing. The Snapdragon Digital Chassis serves as the foundation for next-generation software-defined vehicles, enabling new mobility experiences and services. We are excited to collaborate with Sony Honda Mobility to deliver on our shared vision for the car of the future.”
Cristiano Amon, President and CEO, Qualcomm Incorporated
Snapdragon Digital Chassis is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Epic Games Inc.
We are beginning our collaboration with Epic Games to create new value in mobility services and entertainment.
“At Epic we are passionate about cars and the automotive industry, and we couldn’t be happier to see Sony and Sony Honda Mobility enter the innovative world of mobility and automotive technology. Together with them, we look forward to bringing you exciting updates within this revolutionary space.”
Kim Libreri, CTO, Epic Games
As a Mobility Tech Company, connecting inspirations and challenging the forefront of cutting-edge technology, Sony Honda Mobility Inc. will revolutionize mobility that appeals to people’s emotions and behaviors.
*1 SoC: System on a Chip
*2 TOPS: Tera Operation Per Second
*3 ToF (Time of Flight) sensor: A sensor that measures the distance to an object by the time light takes to hit an object and return.
*4 HMI: Human-Machine Interface
*5 AD/ADAS: Automated Drive / Advanced Driving Assistant System
*6 IVI: In-Vehicle Infotainment
This information is current at the time of publication. Prototype specifications are subject to change without prior notice.
SOURCE: Sony Honda Mobility