Honda and Sony will evolve as a software-oriented mobility technology company

Over the past few years, the global automotive industry has undergone a massive transformation and technology has been leading the race.

Automakers around the world are investing heavily in technology, whether in fuel or connected technology. While these automakers are advancing on the new fuel technology front, collaboration between automakers and technology companies is needed for the connected aspect of the future. One such example of collaboration is the new venture Sony Honda Mobility (SHM), a joint venture between Honda Global and Sony Group Corporation.

The creation was announced by Yasuhide Mizuno, Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer, SHM and Izumi Kawanishi, Representative Director, President and Chief Operating Officer, SHM.

Sony Group Corporation and Honda Motor Co signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic mobility alliance on March 4, 2022. Additionally, on June 16, the companies signed a joint venture agreement to establish SHM.

With the aim of “Moving people, through the pursuit of innovation with diverse inspirations”, the company aims to become a software-oriented mobility technology company by providing high value-added products and services and establishing new relationships with customers.

The joint venture has agreed to lead innovation in the mobility industry through the joint development and sale of high-value electric vehicles (EVs) and the establishment of a company to provide mobility services.

Notably, with an investment ratio of 50-50, the joint venture has invested 10 billion yen (about $67.22 million) and is based in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. With the intention of manufacturing its first product at Honda’s North American plant, the joint venture expects to begin pre-orders for the first product in the first half of 2025, with sales expected to begin before the end of 2025.

Starting in spring 2026, the first batch of deliveries are expected in North America, while the second half will see deliveries in Japan.

(LR) Izumi Kawanishi and Yasuhide Mizuno

Define the product

Based on a principle common to Sony and Honda to contribute to and lead the evolution of mobility, SHM has defined its concept of high added value electric vehicle as the 3As – Autonomy, Augmentation, and Affinity.

SHM’s electric vehicle will feature Level 3 automated driving technology in limited conditions and enable Level 2+ driver assistance in even more situations, such as urban driving. The planned hardware includes a high-performance system-on-chip (SoC) with a total processing power of over 800 tera operations per second.

Meanwhile, a new human-machine interface (HMI) will also be introduced, providing a personalized in-car experience through cloud service connectivity, realizing entertainment beyond driving.

This new technology will replace traditional ECUs with high-performance integrated ECUs, including two latest generation SoCs for the HMI/In-Vehicle infotainment system combined with the automated driving system ECU/advanced driving assistant.

With this, SHM aims to evolve the space of mobility into a space of entertainment and emotion by seamlessly integrating the real and virtual worlds and exploring new entertainment possibilities through digital innovations such as the metaverse.

In addition, SHM also intends to build an open community not only for customers, but also for automotive industry partners, key players from other industries and the creative community, who will rise to the challenge together with the company to create new mobility entertainment.

Aiming to realize 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 a cohesive integrated service framework, from in-vehicle software to software cloud-based.

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