Chinese startup Byton took the automotive world by surprise last year at the Consumer Electronics Show where it exhibited the M-Byte concept with a gargantuan touchscreen display for the infotainment system. For this year’s show in Las Vegas, the company decided to unveil the production-ready cabin of its electric SUV, complete with an expansive 48-inch display or a bit wider than seven iPads put side by side. Tesla’s 17-inch screen doesn’t look so big anymore, does it?
Dubbed the “Shared Experience Display” (SED), it’s by far the largest screen you will find in the automotive industry and stretches from one A-pillar to the other. While at a first glance it might seem distracting because of its sheer size, Byton mentions it does not interfere with the driver’s line of sight. The Chinese automaker mentions the SED complies with all safety and crash standards in all the markets where the M-Byte will be sold.
Here's a comparison between the 2018 concept (left) and the 2019 production version (right).
You’d think such a giant display would be more than enough for the interior of a car, but there’s another one incorporated within the steering wheel. Located just above the driver’s airbag, the 7-inch touchscreen allows the person behind the wheel to configure the car and go through the functions offered by the SED.
But wait, there’s more. Compared to the concept shown 12 months ago, the road-going EV has gained an 8-inch touchpad mounted between the front seats so that the passenger can play with the SED and its numerous features. Because there’s no such thing as having too many screens inside a car, the passengers sitting in the back have their own displays linked to the infotainment system. That brings the grand total to five screens.
Screens aside, this is still first and foremost an EV. A full reveal of the Byton M-Byte production version is programmed for the middle of the year ahead of production start towards the end of 2019 at the Nanjing plant in China. Buyers will get to pick between a 71-kWh, 250-mile base model estimated to start at $45,000 and a more expensive 95-kWh, 325-mile variant.
The M-Byte electric SUV will be available at first in homeland China, with North America and Europe to follow in 2020.
BYTON Unveils a Closer Look at the M-Byte SUV Production Model at 2019 CES Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- BYTON, the premium intelligent electric vehicle brand, today revealed new details about its first production model, the M-Byte SUV, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 in Las Vegas. Positioned as the next generation smart device, BYTON is designed for the future of autonomous driving when the automobile will become a mobile digital lounge.
"BYTON's M-Byte represents the transformation of the traditional car into a next-generation smart device for every user," said Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and Co-founder of BYTON. "We achieve this through the combination our state-of-the-art EV platform and our proprietary BYTON Life digital ecosystem."
A Digital Cockpit That Improves The Driver Experience
BYTON's Shared Experience Display (SED) remains the world's largest in-car display for a production automobile. It displays vehicle and driving information and offers various content options in an intuitive way. The position of the display has been carefully developed and tested to not affect driver line-of-sight and can automatically adjust brightness according to changes in ambient lighting to avoid further distraction. In addition, the SED will meet automotive safety standards as well as crash standards in all target markets.
The production M-Byte's user-interface and user experience (UI/UX) hardware will feature abundant shared and private screen space to capture and display a wide array of digital content – music, videos, photos, files, contacts, and more – intuitively and safely to users in any seat:
- The 7-inch Driver Tablet pioneered by BYTON will be at the center of the steering wheel just above the driver airbag, serving as one of the main interfaces for the driver to configure the vehicle and interact with the SED.
- An 8-inch BYTON Touch Pad has been added between the driver and the front passenger seats on the production model, enabling the front passenger to control the SED and enjoy the same interactive experience as the driver.
- Rear passengers have access to independent rear-seat entertainment screens that also share content with the SED.
- The front seats can be rotated inward 12 degrees, to create a space that is more convenient for passengers in the car to interact and communicate with each other when not in motion.
- The dashboard features a new wraparound design with air conditioning vents, gear selector, and other hard buttons located in the center along with a driver monitoring system to ensure safety during assisted-driving modes.
- Multiple interaction modes with the vehicle will be offered including voice control, touch control, physical buttons, and gesture control.
Enhanced User Experience & Personalized Mobility
BYTON users will have access to BYTON Life, an open digital ecosystem that connects applications, data, and smart devices. BYTON Life features advanced machine-learning capabilities that analyzes the user's schedule, location, preferences, and application data to provide intuitive support such as scheduling reminders, online shopping tasks, remote charging management, and more. It can recognize voices of different users and sounds from different directions in the car. In North American and European markets, BYTON has been cooperating with Amazon Alexa to jointly develop voice control. In addition, BYTON has also invited software developers from around the world to join BYTON's ecosystem and explore new possibilities for applications and content on BYTON Life's open platform.
Full-scale vehicle testing ahead of production
The production version of the BYTON M-Byte is slated to debut in mid-2019, with mass-production starting at the end of the year. To achieve this, vehicle testing continues in full swing to achieve the highest safety and quality standards of China, the US, and Europe. Meanwhile, BYTON's Nanjing plant is on-track to be completed this year and will be equipped with cutting-edge production equipment from leading global partners such as AIDA Engineering of Japan, and KUKA and DÜRR of Germany. The company is also working with key strategic investors FAW and CATL, and world-class suppliers Bosch, BOE, and Faurecia to integrate the world's best technologies and resources into its products.
"We have made solid progress in the construction of our Nanjing plant and prototype vehicle testing," said Dr. Daniel Kirchert, President and Co-Founder of BYTON. "This is a vital year for BYTON and our global team is sparing no efforts to achieve our goal of volume production."
It is not about refining cars. It is about refining life.
BYTON aspires to build premium intelligent electric vehicles for the future. Its crafted cars integrate advanced digital technologies to offer customers a smart, sage, comfortable and eco-friendly driving and mobility experience.
BYTON aims to create a premium brand rooted in China which has a global reach. Its global headquarters, intelligent manufacturing base and R&D center are located in Nanjing, China, while its North American headquarters, devoted to intelligent car experience, autonomous driving, whole vehicle integration and other cutting-edge technologies, is based in the Silicon Valley. The company's vehicle concept and design center is located in Munich. BYTON also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to handle external affairs, marketing, sales, design and investor relations.
BYTON's core management team is made up of the world's top experts from China, Europe and the U.S., all of whom have held senior management positions in innovative companies such as BMW, Tesla, Google and Apple. Their expertise covers automotive design, automotive engineering and manufacturing, electric powertrain, intelligent connectivity, autonomous driving, user interface and supply chain management among other industry sectors, the sum of which represents BYTON's strengths in manufacturing premium automobiles that are equipped with high quality internet technologies.