Sony to Test Self-Driving Cars to Boost Sensor, Safety Tech; Unveils Electric Concept Car

Sony said it would begin testing self-driving cars early this year to improve the company’s sensing and safety technologies, as Japanese electronics and entertainment giants accelerate their automotive push.

Sony revealed plans to unveil an electric concept car with 33 embedded sensors, including image sensors and solid-state light detection and lidding (Lidar), at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday.

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The concept car, developed with the help of Bosch, Continental and other partners, incorporates Sony’s in-car entertainment system with spatial audio technology.

A spokesperson said that Sony is aiming to introduce test rides during the next financial year to test the performance of other auto-related technologies. He said the company has no plans to produce its own cars.

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Sony dominates the market for smartphone image sensors, but is trying to catch up with ON Semiconductor in sensors for automotive applications.

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that mobile is the mega-trend of the last decade,” Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said at a CES press conference. “I believe the next megatrend will be mobility.”

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