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Sony Group Corp. will set up a new unit in the spring for electric vehicles as it explores the possibility of launching the vehicles commercially, its CEO said Tuesday.

Speaking at a media preview ahead of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said the new unit, Sony Mobility Inc., will aim to make the best use of artificial intelligence and robotics technology for EV development.

At the same event in 2020, Sony unveiled a prototype EV, the Vision-S, which is equipped with technology for autonomous driving and aimed at enhancing the safety and comfort of mobility.

The announcement came at a time when global competition has been intensifying over the development of EVs, with many automakers shifting to such vehicles for carbon emission reduction.

At this year’s preview, Yoshida also unveiled an SUV prototype of its Vision-S EV, which features seat speakers that create a three-dimensional sound field.

“The human need for mobility will continue,” Yoshida said, and there is an opportunity to satisfy people’s desire both “to move safely and to be entertained.”

He added that the excitement that was generated after Sony announced the Vision-S “encouraged us to further consider how we can bring creativity and technology to change the experience of moving from one place to another.”

Sony has been conducting driving tests of the Vision-S vehicle on public roads in Europe. It started 5G driving tests last year.

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