Sony's Vision S electric car is the surprise of CES 2020

(Image credit: Sony/YouTube)

Wait, so Sony's in the car business now?

You'd certainly get that impression watching the company's CES 2020 keynote from Las Vegas today (Jan. 6). After running through the things you'd expect to see at a Sony event — a new PS5 logo, some camera highlights, an adaptive audio system, and even a 5G broadcast setup aimed at sports coverage — Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida had an electric concept car wheeled out on stage that's apparently dubbed the Sony Vision S.

sony vision s

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Sony built the car with a whole host of automotive heavyweights — everyone from Bosch and continental to Nvidia and Qualcomm. And rather than be a new product lineup for the electronics conglomerate, it seems like the Vision S is Sony's way of showcasing just how it can make components for the cars that actual automakers will be assembling in the coming years.

There's certainly a lot to catch the eye of automakers. Yoshida said the Vision S car has 33 sensors both inside and outside. Those not only assist in tasks like autonomous driving and spotting road hazards but also detecting if the driver is nodding off.

The vehicle prototype also includes a feature that Sony calls 360-degree Reality Audio — think immersive audio radiating in all directions inside the car. The car's dashboard feature a panoramic widescreen containing multiple infotainment options — basically entertainment and driving information that spans from one end of the dashboard to the other.

Will any of these concepts ever see the light of day? Probably, though maybe not in a Sony-assembled vehicle like the Vision S. We're looking forward to spending more time with the prototype and hearing more about Sony's actual plans for its automotive efforts.

Be sure to check out our CES 2020 hub for the latest news and hands-on impressions out of Las Vegas.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.