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The car, my new smartphone? Byton at CES 2019

After the concept car aroused appetite last year, Byton, founded by former BMW managers, now shows the interior of the production model. With a huge 48-inch display, various input options and digital services.

Interior of the Byton M-Byte.  At the front of the stage is CEO Dr. Ing.  Carsten Breitfeld (source: Byton).Interior of the Byton M-Byte. At the front of the stage is CEO Dr. Ing. Carsten Breitfeld (source: Byton).
Connected Services are the core element of Byton. Also the basic equipment will bring along some connected car functions.
Access via smartphone app or via fingerprint reader in the door or face recognition. A hardware access - eg by key card - is also possible.
48-inch curved screen as standard equipment. Operation via tablet in the steering wheel or touch screen in the center console. In addition, integration of Amazon Alexa voice control and - for some functions - gesture control.
Data is stored in Byton Life. Depending on the region, this cloud relies on other partner companies.
At the CES 2019, the start-up Byton dropped the covers and presented the finished interior of his electric SUV . The central element is the curved 48-inch screen. On this, several contents can be displayed simultaneously. To enable the operation, there are several possibilities. Operation refers to Byton as the 5th dimensional controller. The driver has a 7 inch tablet in the steering wheel, which stops while the steering wheel rim turns. This can be controlled via finger operation contents of the large panoramic display. In addition, there are physical buttons on the left and right of the driver's tablet for some menu items or settings (eg volume keys) so that they are just a tap away.

The passenger, on the other hand, operates the screen via an 8-inch touch display in the center console. Byton calls this also the Byton touchpad, as it is mounted between the seats in front of the center armrest. In addition, Byton supports the Amazon Alexa voice control. Certain functions can be selected on request via gesture control. This includes changing the volume with a circular motion at the level of the center armrest.

Above the central air vents are the interior cameras. These are used on the one hand to recognize the driver, so his attitude from Byton Life are loaded. In addition, the cameras are active when the vehicle is moving in autonomous driving mode. Then the camera image is used to check where the driver has just turned his eyes.

For the rear passengers, there will be two separate tablets firmly attached to the backrests of the front seats.


Two systems for a digital hallelujah
In Byton run two separate OS. One for all driver assistance systems and one for the infotainment area.
Specially adapted by Byton Android drives 48-inch screen.
Many services in planning.
The Android-based infotainment operating system comes with its own user interface and is called Byton Byte OS. All data is stored at Byton Life. This means that user data is stored on cloud servers. Depending on the sales region, the manufacturer cooperates with different IT companies who take care of the server infrastructure. A dedicated team based in Santa Clara, develops solutions for data security and privacy. In the Byton Security Lab, hackers and software developers from various disciplines work together to provide a high level of security.

In addition, some team members have won the Carhackathon competition and regularly participate in this showdown to develop. Because of the own Byton ID each driver has the opportunity to have his settings with them everywhere. This is how the automobile should become a "smart device mobile". The data is also transferred to the smartphone. This requires the official Byton app, which is available for Android and iOS for free download.

Currently, the M byte can be visually displayed in different colors. There is also a news channel with news from the Byton team. In the future, many vehicle functions will be controllable via this app.
All Byton models can be kept up to date via over-the-air updates.


Artificial intelligence also comes into every Byton automobile. Connecting to the cloud servers makes it possible to make proactive suggestions. For example:
By collecting data - such as travel time, local time, and previously visited restaurants - Byton can proactively send recommendations to the vehicle. At the request of the passengers, a reservation can then be made in the favorite restaurant.
Amazon Alexa is also moving in. Here comes to every voice command also a visual confirmation on the 48-inch screen. Of course you can also use the skill extensions of Alexa.

Byton EV platform
First model is the SUV Byton M-Byte. It will be launched in China later this year. After that, he will also be available for purchase in Europe and the USA.
There is either a 71 kWh battery that will run for 400 kilometers (250 miles after NEDC test cycle) or the optional version with 95 kWh battery pack for 530 kilometers (325 miles after NEDC test cycle).
The base model with 71 kWh battery costs 45,000 US dollars.
From 2021 comes with the K-Byte a sedan on the market.
Byton acts fast compared to a traditional car manufacturer. So has the M byteOnly 39 months from the first sketch to the first produced production vehicle needed when in July the world premiere is pending. The standard equipment comes already with the 48-inch panoramic screen, the steering wheel tablet and the touchpad in the center console therefore. The built-in mobile module is capable of using not only 4G LTE networks but also 5G networks. Like me. Daniel Kirchert revealed in the interview, some selected services will be included in the purchase price. Whereas digital services, which provide particularly high data consumption or requirements for the lowest possible latency periods, will be chargeable. These include, for example, semi-autonomous assistance systems. Because the M byte becomes Level 3 - you can find all 5 SAE levels for autonomous driving here- can drive partially autonomous. At least the required hardware is installed, but a paid digital service package will be mandatory for use. In return, users always receive the latest security and functional updates over the air.

We think of the customer. The passengers should no longer feel the need to take their own smartphone while driving. That's all about the 48-inch screen run. But the in-car infotainment system has to convince the customer.
Dr. Daniel Kirchert (President and Co-Founder Byton)

Co-creation - Develop Connected functions together
Features of Byton models are to be developed together with fans.
Currently more than 1,500 employees work at Byton throughout the world.
Byton would like to work with the community. Therefore, there is the co-creation program . This can be thought of as similar to the Chinese technology group Xiaomi .

Byton is financed mainly by the Chinese carmaker FAW. But there are also other investors, such as Bosch , the automotive supplier Faurecia or the battery cell manufacturer CATL . Depending on the sales region Byton works either with Amazon Alexa or for China with Baidu.

I'm curious to see what the finished M-Byte will look like and above all, how the digital services will adapt. Because the promise is that the occupants do not want to take your smartphone in your hand as soon as you are on the road in Byton. Because all your usual digital services are firmly integrated in the car.

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