Sony Corp. has developed an electric vehicle that can be driven remotely using advanced sensor technology to capture a 360-degree image of its surroundings and also featuring artificial intelligence, the electronics maker said Tuesday.
The SC-1 -- which is about 3 meters long, a little under 2 meters tall and accommodates three passengers -- is not designed for road use but could transport people at leisure facilities such as golf courses and shopping malls.
It features five sensors used in high-end digital cameras to relay imagery back to an operator who can drive the vehicle from anywhere, transporting guests or customers.
The vehicle can also use AI to distinguish the age and sex of people walking nearby to show demographic-specific advertisements on the 55-inch ultra-high definition 4K displays on each of its four sides, for example running an ad for diapers for young parents with a baby, a company official said.
Passengers can also drive the vehicle themselves using an onboard controller and display. The interior display is capable of augmented reality, superimposing computer generated dinosaurs onto the fairway as golfers travel to the next hole, for instance.
A prototype is currently being tested at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University. The company official declined to comment on a timeline for wider use.