Sony, the electronics company, and Yamaha, a Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles and other mobility products, have announced they are teaming together to begin developing autonomous, electric shuttles.
Dubbed the SC-1 Sociable Cart, the model is being billed as a “fusion of Yamaha Motor’s autonomous driving technology and Sony’s entertainment imaging technology.”
The companies didn’t say much about the autonomous driving tech, but confirmed the shuttle has been outfitted with advanced image sensors, ultrasonic sensors and a LiDAR system. They also confirmed images taken by the shuttle are uploaded to the cloud and this enables the vehicle to be operated remotely.
The boxy styling isn’t terribly exciting, but the shuttle lacks windows and instead uses four 55-inch LCD displays. The companies said they can project video and mixed reality images to passersby.
Sony also mentioned something a bit creepier. Using the shuttle’s cameras and artificial intelligence technology, the vehicle can determine attributes – such as the age and gender – of people standing nearby. Using this information, the exterior displays can then show ads specifically targeting those people.
Besides acting as a mobile billboard, the SC-1 Sociable Cart has a five seat interior with a 49-inch display. It shows a variety of information and even allows passengers to see their surroundings at night without the use of headlights.
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