It may seem strange for a car business to take a gaming company along for the ride, but that was not an unusual situation during CES 2024 in Las Vegas last week.
First, as we reported last week, BMW announced a new in-car gaming system that allowed Bluetooth controllers to be used to play a game on the vehicle’s infotainment system.
Not to be outdone, Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) unveiled a new user experience that it is developing with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine,
The collaboration was First announced at last year’s CES, but this year it became a lot less… unreal?
SHM representative director and president Izumi Kawanishi told a press conference that SHM had developed an ADAS simulator, using virtual spaces to create new user experiences in vehicles.
According to Sony, “This tool simulates external environmental conditions such as information for other vehicles, pedestrians, terrain, and weather. By combining this technology with AR, users will enjoy an immersive experience that also enhances safety.”
In order to incorporate sensing and vehicle data, SHM uses the latest version of the Epic gaming engine, Unreal Engine 5. This enables it to provide a visually striking 3D map from which extensive metadata from the internet can be overlaid.
“Map data can also be used to broaden the possibilities within the development of gaming and entertainment features,” said Sony.
During the press conference, SHM also announced a collaboration with Polyphony Digital, a subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment, in real world vehicle development. The following is a summary of the announcement of this collaboration at the press conference.
“The purpose of this partnership is to develop vehicles that fuse the virtual and the real, mainly in the area of human senses and emotions by combining Polyphony Digital’s simulation technology with the development of actual vehicles by SHM,” the company said.
Its AFEELA Prototype 2024, introduced at the press conference, will be included in a patch update for Gran Turismo 7 later this year.
We can probably expect many more collaborations between car companies and entertainment tech companies in future.