Since the last few years, the global automotive industry has undergone a massive transformation, and technology has been the front runner in the race.
Vehicle manufacturers across the globe are investing heavily in technology, be it in fuel or connected technology. Although these manufacturers are pacing ahead on the new fuel technology front, a collaboration between car makers and technology companies is needed for the future's connected aspect. One such example of collaboration is the newly established Sony Honda Mobility (SHM), a JV between Honda Global and Sony Group Corporation.
The establishment was announced by Yasuhide Mizuno, Representative Director, Chairman and CEO, SHM and Izumi Kawanishi, Representative Director, President and COO, SHM.
Sony Group Corporation and Honda Motor Co signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic alliance in the mobility field on March 4, 2022. Furthermore, on June 16, the companies signed a JV agreement to establish SHM.
With the purpose to “Move people, through the pursuit of innovation with diverse inspirations”, the company aims to become a software-oriented mobility tech company by providing high-value-added products and services and by building new relations with customers.
The JV agreed to lead innovation in the mobility industry through joint development and sales of high-value-added electric vehicles (EVs), and the creation of a business to provide mobility services.
Notably, with an investment ratio of 50-50, the JV has invested 10 billion yen (about $67.22 million) and is based out of Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. With plans to manufacture its first product at Hondaʼ s North American factory, the JV plans to commence the pre-orders for the first product in the first half of 2025, with sales to start before the end of 2025.
Starting in spring 2026, the first batch of deliveries is scheduled in North America, while the second half of the year will see deliveries in Japan.
Defining The Product
Based on a common principle both Sony and Honda hold to contribute to and lead the evolution of mobility, SHM has defined its high value-added EV concept as the 3As - Autonomy, Augmentation, and Affinity.
The EV from SHM will feature a homegrown Level-3 automated drive technology under limited conditions and enable Level-2+ driver assistance in even more situations, such as urban driving. Planned hardware includes a high-performance system on a chip (SoCs) with total processing power exceeding 800 Tera Operations Per Second.
Alongside, a new Human-Machine Interface (HMI) will also be introduced, providing a personalised in-car experience through cloud-service connectivity, realising entertainment beyond driving.
This new technology will replace the traditional ECUs with high-performance integrated ECUs, including two latest-generation SoCs for HMI/ In-Vehicle Infotainment system combined with Automated Drive / Advanced Driving Assistant System ECU.
With this, SHM aims to evolve mobility space into entertainment and emotional space by seamlessly integrating real and virtual worlds and exploring new entertainment possibilities through digital innovations such as the metaverse.
Moreover, SHM also intends to build an open community not only for customers but also for the automotive industry partners, leading players in other industries, and the creative community, which will take on the challenge with the company to create new mobility entertainment.
Aiming to realise an interactive mobility society and create a new entertainment experience, SHM will design a comprehensive service architecture that positions mobility as a mobility experience service, incorporating an integrated service framework consistent throughout from in-vehicle software to cloud-based software.
Collaboration Is Key For Auto Industry