Apple’s self-driving electric vehicle might not be so much of a secret anymore, but now, neither is Sony’s.
Yep, you read that right. According to a new report by the Financial Times, the Japanese tech company’s apparently also following the footsteps of Apple and is in the midst of creating its own self-driving car project.
The publication stated that Sony’s made a small investment – oh, of just 100 million yen (S$1.1 million) – in it by purchasing a two per cent stake in ZMP (a Japanese start-up specialising in creating robot cars).
In addition to that, it is said that the company will merge its image sensor technologies into these ZMP robots to develop these self-driving vehicle technologies. We don’t know how much truth there is to the claim, but the rumours itself make it sound special.
If Sony’s working on a driver-less smart car behind closed doors, it would be the third major tech firm to show interest in that space. As you already know, Apple’s reportedly got a foot in it with some expertise from Tesla, while Google’s been actively working on self-driving vehicle technologies over then past few years.
But with Sony, there’s a point of differentiation – it’s not exactly banking on the self-driving car per se. Instead, it’s allegedly focusing on the automotive camera sensor aspect of it. It purportedly expects the demand for such vehicle image sensors to increase exponentially in the coming years, through to 2030 and wants to lead that trend.
If it takes off, it would be a boost for Sony because about 10 cameras are needed on each self-driving car, and every one of them cost about five times more than those used on smartphones.
For you, this would probably mean that these vehicles won’t come cheap.