You know what’s a spectacularly terrible idea? Being able to control a real car with a PlayStation DualSense controller. Yup, that’s a real thing now. During Sony’s CES 2024 press conference, the Japanese tech giant took one giant leap into the preoccupied realms of “whether they could” by showing off the ability to drive a car with a PS5 peripheral.
Sony and Honda have hooked up behind the garage and produced something called the AFEELA, the hot-garbage name for a newfangled AV car that stops just short of transforming into a killer robot. Its astonishing ultra-mega-widescreen dash makes a Tesla’s insides look like an ‘80s Apple IIe, while the exterior seems based on if Knight Rider’s KITT were a family saloon.
The website reads like the projectile vomit of a thousand corporate executives, saying things like (and I promise this is real), “AFEELA powers unparalleled intelligence, remembering, communicating, protecting, and inspiring people.”
Just in case this didn’t already sound like the preamble in a dystopian sci-fi about cars that take over the world, extraordinarily Sony and Honda are declaring that they’re “in collaboration with Microsoft” to license Azure OpenAI as a “conversational personal agent,” for all those times you need your car to just make shit up based on things it scraped off of Reddit.
This is, to just hammer this all home, a (prototype) car that boasts it has the ability to use Unreal Engine-driven AR on its vast dash screens to make it look like there are actual colossal monsters stomping down the road in front of you as you drive. I’M NOT MAKING THAT UP.
Anyway, this car—which is sure to be the ultimate in subscription-locked features—apparently can also be controlled by your DualSense controller, because there was room for one more terrible idea. Honda’s president Izumi Kawanishi took to the stage at CES, and drove the car onto the stage using the controller, although thankfully stressed that at this point it was only a tech demo. However, don’t let any fears be assuaged, as Sony added that its partnering with Polyphony Digital—the in-house developers who make the Gran Turismo games—to “bring together virtual and real-world experiences.”
Yes, I admit it, if someone gave me the opportunity to sit high on some mountain, and remotely control an empty car on a huge track via a PS5 controller in a race against my friends, I would totally do that. I would deliberately crash so much, but I would be there. But dear god, I shouldn’t be allowed to.