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Sony and Yamaha are making a self-driving cart for theme parks

Sony is partnering with Yamaha on the SC-1 Sociable Cart, an expansion of the concept designed for entertainment purposes like theme parks, golf courses and “commercial facilities.” The new version seats five people instead of three (and in greater comfort), lasts longer through replaceable batteries and uses additional image sensors to improve its situational awareness. If companies like Einride and Rinspeed have anything to say about it. Now Sony and Yamaha Motor have joined forces to create a self-driving people mover of their own, named the SC-1.

The SC in the name stands for Sociable Cart, and the vehicle merges Yamaha Motor’s autonomous driving technologies with Sony’s entertainment know-how to offer a fresh new take on urban mobility. The SC-1 will navigate using cameras, ultrasonic sensors and LiDAR.

Occupants will be treated to images of the local area thrown up on one 49-inch 4K monitor and five 55-inch 4K monitors mounted inside that have been captured by the vehicle’s cameras. Video and mixed reality content will also be on offer, and likely advertising too.

The all-electric vehicle will have a maximum speed of just 19 km/h (11.8 mph) and be capable of accommodating five passengers at a time. It features hydraulic disc brakes at all four wheels, double wishbone suspension to the front and link type suspension at the back.

The development project has been running since 2016, and the partnership intends to launch the SC-1 later this year in Japan, though it won’t be made available for general sale.

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