The Dawn of AFEELA
At CES 2024, Sony and Honda unveiled AFEELA, their latest automotive brainchild born from the Sony Honda Mobility partnership.
AFEELA, despite its unusual name, promises an immersive and interactive driving experience akin to playing a Sony PlayStation.
This year, AFEELA returned, showcasing its computer-assisted capabilities and appearing more production-ready than its predecessor.
The AFEELA concept car is slated to feature a 91 kWh lithium-ion battery, dual 180 kW motors, and the ability to charge at 150 kW (DC) and 11 kW (AC). The air suspension system, unique tire measurements, and 21-inch wheels suggest a car built for performance and style.
Anticipated to enter production in 2025 and hit the market by 2026, AFEELA could have a starting price around $45,000.
Beyond Traditional Driving
However, AFEELA’s true essence lies not in its driving mechanics but in the unparalleled entertainment experience it offers.
Partnering with Epic Games, Microsoft, and Polyphony Digital, Sony Honda Mobility aims to transform AFEELA into an entertainment powerhouse.
The highlight includes a video game-like GPS and navigation system, alongside a voice-enabled system, developed in collaboration with Microsoft, using Azure OpenAI service.
Afeela’s Unique Cabin Experience
The AFEELA’s cabin is designed to be an immersive space, equipped with large infotainment screens, a noise-canceling interior, and Sony’s spatial audio.
Innovations extend to exterior features like an LED light strip that serves as an external information display, capable of conveying various alerts and messages.
The Concerns and Skepticism
While AFEELA introduces groundbreaking technology, it also raises concerns. Its emphasis on entertainment over traditional driving dynamics might not resonate with all.
The idea of a car being more of a rolling entertainment device than a means of transportation might seem excessive to some.
AFEELA represents a bold step into the future of automobile technology, merging driving with entertainment and AI.
However, its appeal might be limited to a specific demographic that values immersive experiences over conventional driving.
As we advance into an era where cars offer more than just transportation, AFEELA stands as a testament to innovation, albeit one that might not align with everyone’s vision of what a car should be.