I’ve been thinking a lot about this. What are all the reasons Sony could build a car? Because they’re the same reasons Apple could, for that matter.
That is, a car is a complex thing to produce and distribute, and requires a sales and after-sale support network. But the components anymore are becoming more in-line with an electronics business in some notable ways.
- Computer systems.
Sony and Apple both know how to make phone and laptop batteries, and battery management systems.
Mobileye, an Intel acquisition, demonstrated a self-driving car navigating the streets of Jerusalem using only cameras, no LIDAR or RADAR.
Even modern combustion engine cars use an engine management computer, transmission computer, a computer in each door, a dashboard integration computer, entertainment computer, HVAC computer, rear integration computer (brake lights / backup lights / rear defrost / traction control). Obviously, knowing how to make computers is a benefit.
The only things keeping Sony (or Apple for that matter) from making an electric vehicle are motors, frames with engineered crumple zones, production capacity for same, and the distribution and post-sales service.
This isn’t to say that it’s easy. But Sony (and Apple) both have the cash to produce a car if they wanted to. And what are they going to do, let all these upstarts do it without them? (Upstarts like Byton, Rivian, and more.)