Byton, a start-up co-founded by former BMW and Nissan executives, has unveiled the first of their three planned electric vehicles at CES 2018. They are starting with a concept of their mid-sized SUV which they believe will be ready for launch in Q4 2019. Following that, they have plans to add a sedan as well as a larger seven-seat vehicle to their line-up.
At first glance, the car can be described as an entertainment center that also happens to provide transportation. There are screens in the steering wheel and behind each seat; there's even a four-foot-long touchscreen display in place of the dashboard. Byton is calling this design a "digital lounge."
The technology inside will feature voice and gesture recognition for navigation and infotainment. As expected, the car will also feature level three autonomous driving with level four to come in 2020.
Byton has added Amazon Alexa integration with numerous additional car-focused features. One of their demos showed a driver searching for charging stations as well as Alexa rerouting the car based on current traffic patterns. To enable all of this, the car will feature wireless Internet connectivity which they claim to be up to 100 Gbps. The front of the car will also feature seats that can swivel around to face the rear passengers.
Specific details about the car's performance are still unknown but Byton says it will have a range of between 250 and 325 miles with up to 476 horsepower on tap. Perhaps the most surprising feature of this new vehicle is the starting price of $45,000. Considering Byton currently has no factory or network of charging stations, only time will tell if they end up as the next Tesla or a flash in the pan like Faraday Future.