Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Byton Electric SUV Concept at CES looks a convincing Chinese challenge

Byton Electric SUV Concept at CES looks a convincing Chinese challenge

The latest company to do so is China-based Byton, which has unveiled its first fully-functional concept auto at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Its normal-looking electric SUV is crammed with so much tech inside that it makes the Tesla Model X look like an outdated vehicle. Starting at just $45,000, its all-electric SUV gets a range up to 323 miles per charge. Founded in 2016, Future Mobility Corporation (later changed its name to Byton) is a startup backed by created to reshape the future of mobility in the 21st century.

Byton electric SUV interior. They plan to release an autonomous vehicle by 2020.

BYTON also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to handle external affairs, marketing, sales, design and investor relations. It also features Amazon Alexa connectivity, an interesting 8-inch touchscreen in the steering wheel and a really large display that is stretched across the whole dashboard. You can see images from both side mirrors on the screen while you drive. It is designed with for voice control support using Amazon Alexa.

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In terms of quality, Byton describes the interior of its concept as a "digital lounge experience" with the feel of a luxurious living room rather than a high-end vehicle.

Additionally, it features Air Touch sensors, allowing front and rear passengers to control the Shared Experience Display with hand gestures. It also includes the first rotating front seats on a production vehicle, meant to turn the auto into a "digital lounge" said Breitfeld. It's got side mounted cameras instead of your typical mirrors, gesture recognition for controlling media and the infotainment system, level 3 autonomous driving (with the company planning on upgrading to level 4 by sometime in 2020), and of course an built-in app ecosystem so you can monitor and control the vehicle from your phone.

The front seats have the ability to turn towards each other for a "more comfortable and sociable position" - opening up the middle of the vehicle so those in the back can see the large display screen on the dashboard.

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"We want to be the company bringing into the market the first real smart vehicle", said Carsten Breitfeld, Byton's chief executive. The vehicle will be available in the USA and Europe in 2020.

Byton will offer a rear-wheel drive version of the vehicle with a 71 kilowatt-hour battery pack capable of 249 miles of range.

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