The joint venture between Sony and Honda, tasked with bringing advanced, software-led electric vehicles to market, used the backdrop of the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show this week to unveil its new car brand, Afeela.

A prototype of Afeela’s first model, a svelte electric sedan with a digital dashboard and rearview camera, was also unveiled at Thursday’s launch event.

The sedan has a clean aesthetic and sleek, aerodynamic shape. Interactive light bars at the front and rear communicate with the outside world through changing light patterns and act as a welcome sign to the driver as they approach the vehicle.

There are screens at the front and back. The entire width of the dashboard is lined up on the screen, including at the bottom of the A-pillar where the screen acts as a virtual rearview mirror. Common features have physical controls, including buttons on the yoke steering wheel and a rotary dial around the center console.

High levels of autonomous driving capabilities will be provided, including in urban environments, with imaging and sensing technology provided by Sony. Afeela said the goal is to provide Level 3 autonomy under certain conditions, the first level where the driver can keep their eyes on the road. There will be 45 cameras and sensors around the vehicle, including in the cabin. Powering it all will be Qualcomm’s Snapdragon system-on-a-chip computer, the same computer GM will use in its upcoming Ultra Cruise self-driving system.

Powertrain details for the sedan have yet to be announced.

Afeela Electric Sedan Prototype

Afeela plans to offer a personalized in-car experience, which will include new cloud-based features, augmented reality features (including navigation), and possibly virtual worlds. Afeela is working with Epic Games on some of these concepts.

Afeela is also working with Sony to develop an ecosystem for sedans and future vehicles. This will include an open community and various digital products, some of which will be available by subscription.

Afeela Electric Sedan Prototype

Afeela Electric Sedan Prototype

Meanwhile, Honda will focus on vehicle development and production for Afeela. Production will take place at a Honda plant in North America, likely in Ohio. Honda announced in October that it was upgrading its Ohio plant to prepare it for electric vehicle production. The company also said it will build a battery plant in Fayette County, Ohio, with LG Energy Solution.

North America is destined to be one of the key markets for Afeela, where the sedan will go on sale in late 2025, with deliveries starting in spring 2026. An SUV may also be planned, as Sony previously unveiled both sedan and SUV concepts ahead of announcing its ambitions to launch a car brand.

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