the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S

at CES 2020, sony unveiled an electric car concept called the vision-S. featuring 33 sensors ’embedded’ into the vehicle, the driverless prototype is conceived to encompass safety, comfort, entertainment and adaptability. and now, the team at sony shares insight into the design process that shaped this practical EV for the next generation.

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S designboom
images courtesy of sony

 

 

the team at sony designed this car with an oval concept to symbolize the 360-degree immersion in sensing technologies and entertainment. the clearest embodiment of the concept lies in the loop of light. the DRL activates an illuminated brand symbol on the tip of the front when the owner approaches. the light extends in a horizontal band, connecting the turn signals, door handles, and tail light as it circles its way around the body.

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S designboom

 

 

the symbolism of the oval concept extends past the lighting. take the edge lines linking the front and back, for example. chrome lines envelop the top of the frame in an oval, too. even the surface of the body, where all those lines draw their contours, is a seamless wraparound. the oval-inspired elements draw a unified aesthetic full of smooth arcs and curves, giving the car a flowing look.

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S designboom

 

 

rather than crafting a futuristic-looking car to turn heads, the design team instead wanted to create a ‘real’ car to show that sony was serious about its mission. the designers wanted people to see the car and immediately feel like the experience is within reach – a car that people would actually want to ride and drive around town. 

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S designboom

 

 

sony designed the vision-S to be drivable and ready for the road. this meant satisfying every safety standard, every requirement of every applicable regulation, and checking every security requirement. the team meticulously positioned the lights and turn signals to ensure complete conformance. they also set their sights on five-star collision safety, the highest possible rating. 

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S designboom

 

 

the vision-S prototype involved a mere handful of project members and wrapped up in just two years’ time. the team’s approach involved using 3D data as the basis for everything from the initial planning to the final phase; there was no clay modeling whatsoever. everything was digital. the team leveraged high-quality rendering and VR technology, taking full advantage of their resources to conceptualize the car, make choices, and do verification work. 

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S designboom

 

 

the vision-S prototype was sony’s first foray into designing a passenger car. as they worked through the process, the designers could almost feel themselves connecting with ‘car culture,’ an evolving dynamic that traces back roughly 100 years. ‘every time I did something with my hands, every time I held a little part in my fingers, I could sense a gravity in what I was doing – the weight of history, I guess,’ says designer shimizu.

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S designboom

 

 

‘faced with the challenge of designing a next-generation EV, the team consistently shared the desire to create something that was both real and exquisitely shaped,’ said designer ueda. ‘that desire was not limited only to the styling – beauty and functionality are wedded in even the smallest details, from wheels and lights to the side mirrors. cars naturally evolve with time, so going forward we hope to discover new ideals in tune with those transformations.’ 

design-story-behind-sony-electric-car-concept-vision-s-designboom-1800

 

 

according to designer takagi, the timing of the vision-S prototype project gives designers an enormous opportunity. ‘the fact that we’re in the midst of a major change gives us a chance to experiment with design. we don’t have any expertise in cars – but that’s exactly why we could dream up what we did for the vision-S. sony and cars have finally met. who knows what could happen? we sure hope some amazing sparks fly.’

the design story behind sony's electric car concept: the vision-S designboom

 

 

project info:

 

company: sony
model: vison-S

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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