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Can a car get any more 21st-Century than this?

February 27, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

Leaders in driving, entertainment, computing, gaming—even virtual K-Pop!—get behind AFEELA

February 27, 2023 – In pursuit of “an interactive relationship where people feel mobility as an intelligent entity, and mobility feels people and society using sensing and network IT technologies,” Sony Honda Mobility unveiled its AFEELA prototype electric vehicle.

AFEELA is built around the concepts of autonomy, augmentation, and affinity, which encompass things like:

• Aiming to develop Level 3 automated drive under limited conditions, and enable Level 2+ driver assistance in a greater number of driving situations.
• A plan to use SoCs (system-on-a-chip) from Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Chassis for 800 TOPS computing performance (TOPS = “tera operations per second” a.k.a. “trillions of operations per second”).


“The car is becoming increasingly connected and intelligent, and how we experience our vehicles is changing,” said Cristiano Amon, president & CEO, Qualcomm Inc. “We are excited to collaborate with Sony Honda Mobility to deliver on our shared vision for the car of the future.”

• Approx. 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside the vehicle that monitor the car’s situation to help avoid collisions.
• Aiming to provide intuitive navigation through augmented reality (AR) using sensing technology.
• A new HMI (human-machine interface) that provides 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,” says SHM. To that end, “We have started to build new values and concepts for mobility with Epic Games”.

Specifically, SHM aims to fully utilize Unreal Engine to continually “create new experiences and communities for the mobility space that moves people”.

“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,” said Kim Libreri, CTO, Epic Games. “Together with them, we look forward to bringing you exciting updates within this revolutionary space.”

The icing on the cake? Virtual K-Pop artist APOKI is showing off the AFEELA prototype in the music video to her new single “Mood V5”.

“The concept of Mood V5 is ‘a new start to the future’,” reads the press release from Sony Music Solutions. In creating the music video, APOKI’s management company contacted Sony Honda Mobility because “AFEELA’s message to pursue innovation in mobility resonated with the song’s concept”.

“Sony Honda Mobility welcomed the opportunity of having the AFEELA prototype appear in the music video [which] portrays “the song’s perspective of gracefully moving toward the future together with AFEELA running in a dreamy futuristic space”.

Honestly, can you get any more 21st-Century than this?

SHM will develop the AFEELA production model based on this prototype, and plans to start taking pre-orders in the first half of 2025. The first deliveries in North America are expected in Spring 2026.

— Anthony Capkun, acapkun@ebmag.com.

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