BYTON, a China-headquartered automotive brand owned by Future Mobility Corporation, unveiled its first drivable electric concept car at CES. With a novel digital design and innovative human-vehicle interaction, the premium SUV is intended to function as a new generation smart device for shared, smart mobility and autonomous driving. (Earlier post.)
The new SUV will be manufactured at BYTON’s plant in Nanjing, China. Its price will start at US$45,000. The car will be available in China towards the end of 2019, and in the US and Europe in 2020.
Key features include:
Shared lounge experience for in-car communication, entertainment and work, with content and connection driven by the BYTON Life cloud platform.
A single 125 x 25 cm (49 x 9.8 inch) Shared Experience Display center console, along with three additional display screens.
Human-vehicle interaction incorporating voice recognition, touch control, biometric identification and hand gesture control technology.
Incorporation of Amazon Alexa for intelligent voice control, with additional Amazon collaboration on audio and video content.
Maximum range of 520 km (323 miles) on a single charge.
BYTON Concept is a mid-size premium smart electric SUV, measuring 4,850 mm (15.9 ft), with a wheelbase of 2,945 mm (9.6 ft) and a wheel size of 22 inches. Its exterior design reflects the SUV’s robust style and distinctive proportions, with a sloping roof line and green house tapering for optimized aerodynamics.
BYTON Concept leverages Smart Surfaces beginning with the front grill. LED lights throughout the front highlight the luminescent logo in the middle, along with connecting lines and dots that can switch to different display modes to suit different driving scenarios as well as communicate with users and pedestrians. The rear of the car also adapts the Smart Surfaces design.
Three facial recognition cameras are embedded in the B-pillar on both sides of the car. Side-view cameras replace traditional side mirrors. BYTON Concept also includes an invisible door handle and invisible antennas.
The new SUV leverages Electric Vehicle architecture to maximize space. A flat floor and absence of a center console convey openness to all cabin occupants. Individually adjustable rear seats provide sofa-like comfort and luxury akin to a premium lounge.
BYTON is equipped with multiple screens including a Shared Experience Display replacing the central console in traditional cars. A Driver Tablet and two display screens on the rear-seat entertainment system integrate other content and features as part of the lounge.
The car’s most eye-catching feature is the Shared Experience Display: Its 125 x 25 cm (49 x 9.8 in) screen automatically adjusts brightness according to changes in light, with a unique horizontal layout enabling content shown to be shared with other passengers in the car.
Additional features include a wooden floor, leather seats and interior color matching. Front seats can rotate 12 degrees inwards, creating a shared space where occupants can interact with each other and the Shared Experience Display, even from the rear seats.
The production car will provide more customized options, enabling users to choose their favorite color schemes on their phones through a special BYTON app.
Human-vehicle interaction. BYTON is developing new and convenient human-vehicle interactions.
BYTON Intuitive Access: a different method of unlocking the car. Face recognition cameras recognize the driver or passenger to unlock the door. BYTON also recognizes driver and passenger information to auto-adjust seat angles, entertainment options and other information according to user preferences and usage.
User profiles auto-enabled for every BYTON. No matter which BYTON the driver sits in, his or her profile can be downloaded from the cloud to the car, making the customer feel as if every BYTON is his/her own car.
BYTON Air Touch for advanced gesture control. This feature allows for display control via easy hand gestures at any position within the car. For example, users can caption a location with a grabbing motion in the air, and then put it into the maps function in the middle of the display to start the navigation.
The Driver Tablet allows the driver to control the Shared Experience Display, navigation, seat adjustment and other functions. The sides of the tablet integrate few physical buttons in the car such as the volume control. In collaboration with Amazon, BYTON has also integrated Alexa Voice into its in-car voice control system.
BYTON Life cloud. BYTON Concept is designed to make technology benefit life, providing enjoyable time for people on the move. BYTON Life is the core of that experience. It is an open digital cloud platform that connects applications, data and smart devices.
Four BYTON Life features on display at CES include my HEALTH, my COMMUNICATION, my ENTERTAINMENT and my ACTIVITIES. Built-in hardware synchronizes with the user’s other devices, enabling BYTON to track the user’s health status, including weight, heart rate, blood pressure; and synchronizes user’s data to give fitness advice.
BYTON’s interconnected hardware prepares for 5G communications; the hidden antenna on the roof allows data transfer rates up to 10 Gbit/second.
BYTON has established a dedicated independent Security Lab to ensure data security whether connected to the cloud or within the vehicle. BYTON Smart Gateway with machine learning ability is an additional core technology, enabling BYTON to track the security status of the vehicle in real time, detect potential failures and threats and take auto-countermeasures.
L4 autonomous driving under development. BYTON’s production car will be equipped with L3 ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) in 2019. L4 autonomous driving will be enabled from 2020 via a software upgrade, as will future sensor and camera upgrades.
BYTON’s production car will have two range options for endurance: a rear-wheel drive model with a 71 kWh battery pack and a driving range of 400 km (248.5 miles), or a four-wheel drive model with a 95 kWh battery pack and a driving range up to 520 km (323 miles). In fast charge mode, 80% of the battery is recharged in just 30 minutes.
BYTON will offer two power options: a 200kW (400 N·m torque) single motor rear-wheel drive model and a 350kW (710N·m torque) dual motors four-wheel model.
BYTON has adopted an all-new platform specifically designed for electric vehicles. In addition to the first SUV model launched in 2019, BYTON will produce its sedan and multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) on the same platform. BYTON’s sedan and MPV is expected to hit the market by 2021 and 2022.