The real-world and the virtual continue to converge, with Gran Turismo’s developers involved in Honda’s Afeela electric car, which has also been confirmed for Gran Turismo 7 inclusion.
Sony’s entry into the car market was originally showcased in 2022 with a Vision-S 01 concept, but since then it has teamed up with Japanese car manufacturer Honda. Now, the joint venture has unveiled its forthcoming car in prototype form at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Expected to enter production in 2025, Sony Honda Mobility’s Afeela is an electric saloon with a focus on artificial intelligence. The company claims AI will be used to enhance driver assistance features, Microsoft is developing a ‘conversational personal agent’ for the vehicle, while Unreal Engine is set to be used for a ‘new’ user experience. Yes, Fortnite is seemingly included…
It all sounds a little ‘pie in the sky’ at present, with technical details thin on the ground. Why are we telling you this? Things get relevant for sim racers with the news of Polyphony Digital’s involvement…
Honda Afeela confirmed for Gran Turismo 7
Ahead of the car’s production, Gran Turismo 7 players will be able to drive the Afeela “later this year,” according to the game’s developers.
A trailer has also been released with the model rendered in-game (see also featured image), which should provide interested onlookers with an idea of SHM’s performance objectives. Real-world specifications are currently under wraps.
The driving title available for PlayStation 4 and 5 receives regular free content updates, although exactly when in 2024 it will arrive is yet to be announced. So far, for the year ahead, the Genesis X Gran Berlinetta Vision Gran Turismo will be part of a January game update.
Gran Turismo Creators Assisting Car Development
Polyphony Digital is also said to be involved with the development of the finalised real-world car, but what that exactly entails is completely beyond our comprehension.
“The purpose of this partnership is to develop vehicles that fuse the virtual and the real, mainly in the area of human senses and emotions by combining Polyphony Digital’s simulation technology with the development of actual vehicles by SHM,” reads the announcement. Sure thing.
It’s far from the first time the Tokyo-based studio has partnered with car manufacturers. At the Tokyo Mobility Show 2023, it was announced that it has developed the user interface for the Nissan Hyper Force concept. In addition, every Nissan GT-R (R35) produced has telemetry graphics in the infotainment system created by the team.
Driven Using a DualSense
During Sony’s CES 2024 show in Las Vegas, the Afeela was driven on stage using a DualSense PS5 controller by Izumi Kawanishi, President and COO of SHM Inc.
Will this be possible in the final production version? Doubtful, CES is all about vivid imaginations and showbusiness. Kawanishi revealed it was “for the purpose of [sic] the tech showcase only.”
While this is perhaps an unorthodox topic, as road cars rely more on technology than ever before, we’re going to keep a watching brief on further partnerships.
Will you be testing the Afeela in Gran Turismo 7 when it arrives or sticking to the race cars? Let us know in the comments below or via X, @Overtake_gg.