Microsoft to supply AI to AFEELA, e-vehicle by Sony/Honda Microsoft to supply AI to AFEELA, e-vehicle by Sony/Honda

While competing in the realm of video game consoles, Sony and Microsoft seem to be ok with partnering in other spheres.

At the recent CES event, Mobility, an e-vehicle company established by Sony and Honda, announced that Microsoft will be the AI vendor for its car OS.

What is Mobility by Sony and Honda?

For most of us, a car has never been just a means of transportation taking you places. There is always something more about it, a promise of good times. Sony and Honda, being the Olympians in their primary business domains, partnered to max out the two components of car ownership: mobility and entertainment. Given the current digital environment, they could not ignore AI, and choosing Microsoft as the vendor thereof only serves to confirm the company’s leader status.

What will Microsoft AI do in AFEELA?

AFEELA dashboard concept. Snapshot from SHM websiteAFEELA dashboard concept. Snapshot from SHM website

AFEELA is the name of the first car currently designed by Mobility; its prototype was brought to Las Vegas and showcased at CES 2024. Deeply integrated with all things Sony, the vehicle was driven to the stage with the help of a PlayStation gamepad.

Jessica Hawke, Microsoft’s chief product marketer for data, AI, and digital applications, participated in the presentation of the new partnership, which signals the importance of the undertaking for the company. However, in terms of practical use of the artificial intelligence, no one has said anything concrete, except for the mentions of focus on AI-enabled safety and Azure resources backing evolution of AFEELA.

Given the core skill set of the parties involved, it would be safe to assume that Microsoft’s Copilot (unless they rebrand it for the purpose) will also aid driving, facilitate human-machine interactions, and beef up entertainment aspects.

This isn’t the only CES 2024 announcement of an AI being integrated into a car management system: Volkswagen claimed to harness OpenAI’s ChatGPT and make it useful in its upcoming automobiles. So it’s 2 out of 2 for this LLM, since Copilot and ChatGPT are basically the same thing.

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