Sony Honda Mobility (SHM), a Japanese joint venture automotive company established by Sony Group and Honda Motor in 2022 to produce battery electric vehicles, is collaborating with Microsoft to create an artificial intelligence-powered agent for its new electric car Afeela-EV, which will debut in 2025.
According to Sony Honda Mobility, the company aims to “redefine” the relationship between people and mobility by creating an “emotional experience” for drivers and passengers. It hopes to achieve this by developing a conversational personal agent, which will be powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service.
Sony Honda Mobility will "redefine" the user experience by using Microsoft AI-powered technology, which will be accessibile via the Afeela-EV dashboard (image credit: Sony Honda Mobility)
“AI plays an essential role in achieving our goal to redefining the relationship between people and mobility, enhancing emotional user experience,” said Izumi Kawanishi, representative director, president and chief operating officer at Sony Honda Mobility. “Microsoft is a key partner to provide conversational personal agent. We are pleased to be working with Microsoft to realise our vision.”
The press conference was held ahead of CES 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Sony Honda Mobility will exhibit its mobility technology. During the announcement, Kawanishi demonstrated a prototype of the Afeela-EV using a PlayStation 5 game controller to drive the car and was joined on stage by Jessica Hawk, corporate vice president of data, AI and digital applications product marketing at Microsoft.
“Generative AI is a new canvas that is amplifying human creativity and creating opportunities for creators and designers to completely transform the in-vehicle experience,” said Hawk. “We are proud of our collaboration with Sony Honda Mobility and excited to see their innovative use of Azure AI technologies and their ability to build with confidence knowing Microsoft Azure is providing a trusted platform as the AI landscape and mobility industry evolves. As these new technologies come forward, safe and responsible AI will continue to be a top priority for both organisations.”