Cars manufacturing is becoming a target for consumer electronics producers as well, as became apparent at the CES tech event in Las Vegas. Amazon has signed an agreement with Fiat‘s owner, while Sony regards the car as a “space for entertainment”.
Car becomes space for entertainment
Sony has plans to launch its own electric car, the Japanese group revealed this at the CES technology fair currently happening in Las Vegas. With a new division, Sony Mobility, the manufacturer wants to build a smart car focusing on cameras, sensors and entertainment.
According to CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, the car is a “space for entertainment”. Passengers will be able to use 5G, and each occupant can consume individual entertainment. “As a creative entertainment company, Sony is in a position to redefine mobility”, Yoshida said. The car is currently being tested on the track, including as a self-driving car.
Shopping behind the wheel
Meanwhile, Stellantis (the group behind Citroën, Fiat, Opel and Peugeot) is partnering with Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ company promises to buy thousands of electric vans from Stellantis for its deliveries, but the innovative part of the partnership lies elsewhere: the car manufacturer will use Amazon’s cloud services, and Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, will be built into the cars’ software. This has major effects because, in addition to voice commands and navigation, Alexa will also allow for online shopping and payments to be made from the car.
Users will also be able to access Amazon’s smart home services, such as smart door locks and smart home appliances, from their cars. Fiat drivers may soon be able to turn their coffee machine on and open their front door before they even get home.
“The platform will be seamlessly integrated into the customers’ digital lives”, both companies say. Cars are increasingly becoming “driving smartphones”, Belgian newspaper De Tijd concludes. Even Apple is said to be working on a self-driving car, which should be ready in four years’ time.