Is The Afeela Model From Sony & Honda The Future Of Mobility?


Sony and Honda are teaming as much as create a brand new automobile firm referred to as Sony Honda Mobility which can carry the world a brand new electrical automobile model — Afeela. An idea automobile was on show in Las Vegas at CES 2023 earlier this month and from what we are able to inform from the response, it principally obtained a giant yawn from the net group. Which may be as a result of it’s a relatively plain wanting sedan completed in uninteresting satin grey. The world will not be precisely beating down the doorways at automotive dealerships to purchase sedans nowadays.

It could even be as a result of the title the 2 firms select for his or her joint enterprise is about as emotional as aluminum foil. Helpful and sensible? Completely. However thrilling? Hardly. Up to now, the web has been buzzing about how terrible the title is as an alternative of speaking about how fantastic the automobile is. In tennis, that’s referred to as an unforced error and it has triggered the brand new firm to stumble out of the gate. It’s unimaginable to know who got here up with that unlucky moniker, however it appears like one thing generated by a pc, not a human.

What Is Afeela?

Up to now, little or no is understood in regards to the Afeela idea automobile. Autoblog says it presumes the automobile has twin electrical motors and believes the automobile is about the identical size and width because the Hyundai Ioniq 6. The idea automobile options 45 cameras and sensors, all from Sony. They are going to be employed within the car security methods that are being developed by Honda. Qualcomm is supplying the automobile’s pc chips. Sony claims the automobile can be able to Stage 3 autonomous driving in some conditions, however would require driver consideration in different circumstances reminiscent of city driving the place Stage 2 driver help can be obtainable.

The automobiles can be constructed at one in every of Honda’s factories in Ohio and offered primarily on-line. Pre-orders for the manufacturing mannequin can be accepted within the first half of 2025, with the primary deliveries to North American clients starting 2026. That’s about all anybody is aware of about Afeela. The corporate has put collectively a gauzy, sensitive video that focuses on the automobile’s related options and leisure capabilities. Discover the complete width screens that stretch from door to door and the video shows that take the place of door mirrors.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

The Verge has completed a deep dive into Afeela. It explains the automobile itself is principally only a container, a transportation module stuffed filled with the leisure and gaming choices Sony is legendary for. It spoke to executives at Sony Honda Mobility who stated the automotive house is seen as the following pure frontier for Sony’s media enterprise, permitting it to supply in-car motion pictures, music, TV exhibits, and gaming alternatives. “We came upon we are able to make yet one more leisure house in mobility, like a front room” in automobile type, Sony Honda Mobility COO Izumi Kawanishi stated in an interview with The Verge.  “We already delivered the PlayStation, the Walkman. The mobility house is yet one more marketplace for us.”

Jessica Caldwell, an auto business analyst for Edmunds, stated, ””We’ve been speaking about automobiles transferring right into a digital front room for nicely over a decade at this level. It looks as if the main target is being taken away from the design of the automobile, per se, and extra in direction of the options of the automobile and what the automobile can do for you.”

“On the floor degree, that is two of Japan Inc.’s finest recognized, most interesting firms of their respective fields coming collectively,” stated Tyson Jominy, VP for knowledge and analytics at JD Energy. “If you mix a client electronics firm with the auto house, I suppose the expectation is that magic will occur.” He added that Honda is well-known for its excellence at manufacturing vehicles and that Sony “has discovered a improbable companion, actually one of the crucial blue chip of blue chip auto firms to companion with.”

Jominy addeed, “From Honda’s perspective, they’re principally getting a shopper or buyer to assist pay for their very own EV improvement and to catch up. There positively is a few form of hesitation on Japanese automakers to essentially go absolutely into the electrical automobile house, however I believe they’re recognizing that that is the place issues are heading. It appears from Sony’s perspective, it is a full integration of its customers, from dwelling to work through your automobile and the whole lot in between. It’s now an extension that lets us take our private lives transportable.”

The Automotive As Leisure System

At CES, Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno informed reporters his firm plans to lease its automobiles for as much as 10 years — for much longer than most automobiles are owned as we speak. These leases can be supported by frequent over the air software program updates and have additions. “If we promote the car itself, we now have to help it for 10 years, a really very long time to supply our companies. Principally, it’s a long run enterprise.”

Kawanishi was very clear about why Sony is stepping into the automobile enterprise. It plans to chase a brand new enterprise mannequin that might upend the business as we all know it. “The necessary factor is software program,” he stated. “We’ve to strengthen our software program expertise. Meaning we are able to present mobility companies for the long run. We’ve to alter the enterprise from {hardware} to software program.”

Afeela isn’t about cashing in on promoting particular person automobiles or dealerships earning money from repairs. It’s about long run leases and financing phrases with homeowners paying for numerous upgrades and options by way of the lifetime of the car, The Verge says. Tyson Jominy thinks the transition to subscription options is “inevitable,” particularly with automobile firms having to stay to cost limits below the Inflation Discount Act for his or her autos to qualify for tax incentives. Automakers may offset that by holding tight to base automobile costs whereas including in additional options drivers should pay for over time.

It’s all just about how the cell phone enterprise works as we speak — the {hardware} will not be a lot the important thing, Izumi Kawanishi defined. “It’s just like the smartphone enterprise. The mobility business must be modified to that form of mannequin.” Is the world prepared for such a transition? Actually many producers are exploring how they’ll generate new income streams with subscription companies. Whether or not most people will help that concept is one other query.

Afeela: Autonomy, Augmentation, & Affinity

On its web site, Afeela explains itself this fashion: “Autonomy, Augmentation, Affinity. The 3A’s are the path through which our mobility grows. The brand new values that we would like folks to resonate with.”  Then it amplifies on every with gauzy language that soothes however reveals little or no of substance.

  • Autonomy: Autonomous intelligence for mobility. The place we goal to create the important foundations for security and safety. Utilizing sensors and lots of clever applied sciences, we’ll notice mobility with peace of thoughts.
  • Augmentation: Mobility house constructed upon security and safety presents the potential of enjoyment past driving. We’ll discover new experiences for mobility that transcend what we thought time and house be like.
  • Affinity: Mobility that’s open to folks, open to society. Along with our clients, artistic professionals and companions across the globe, we increase Afeela’s potentialities. We’ll current a free and open atmosphere.

Right here at CleanTechnica’s graphene infused galactic headquarters, we had a kumbaya second once we learn that. Now that we perceive what Afeela is all about, all of us agreed that 2026 can’t get right here quick sufficient!




Admire CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech information protection? Contemplate turning into a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.


Do not need to miss a cleantech story? Join day by day information updates from CleanTechnica on e-mail. Or observe us on Google Information!


Have a tip for CleanTechnica, need to promote, or need to counsel a visitor for our CleanTech Discuss podcast? Contact us right here.



Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.