China's Future Mobility Corporation unveils Byton 'Smart Intuitive Vehicle'

Nanjing-baed concept car maker Byton, which started out under the name of Future Mobility Corporation (FMC), a startup established by former BMW AG executives, today debuted its first drivable concept car, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA.

 
Byton's Shared Experience Display enables the content shown to be shared by other pasengers in the car  

The concept vehicle 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.

With a unique digital design and innovative human-vehicle interaction, the premium SUV functions as a new generation smart device, built for the coming era of shared, smart mobility and autonomous driving, FMC said in a statement.

"The Byton Concept SUV connects both the automotive and digital industries in ways that will deliver an entirely new connective experience for people on the move. The result is the world's first Smart Intuitive Vehicle, or SIV," said Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and Co-Founder, Byton.

According to the carmaker, its first mass production model would enter the market next year starting at $45,000. The company will complete its Nanjing factory in late 2018 and start production a year later, Daniel Kirchert, co-founder and COO told reporters at.

The car maker said the vehicles will provide internet connectivity and digital services. Some of the features of the vehicle include face recognition cameras to unlock the doors and voice recognition using Amazon.com Inc.'s Alexa.

"Byton is tailor-made for fully electric mobility. Equally important, we have designed our car to be the first-ever affordable premium EV that fulfills the requirements as the first car in every household," said Dr. Daniel Kirchert, President and Co-Founder.

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 per cent of the battery is recharged in just 30 minutes.

Byton will offer two power options: 200kW (400NM torque) single motor rear-wheel drive model and 350kW (710NM torque) dual motors four-wheel model.

The vehicle 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.

Exterior design

  • 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 style and distinctive proportions, with a loping 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.

Interior features

  • 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 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 colour 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.

Interior themes of the three cars on display at CES include Cassonade Frost, Silver Sky and Moonlight Ink. 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

As a new generation smart device, Byton vehicle offers new human-vehicle interactions.

  • Byton Intuitive Access is a different method of unlocking the car. Face recognition cameras recognise the driver or passenger to unlock the door. Byton also recognises 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's production car will be equipped with L3 AAdvanced Driver Assistance Systems in 2019. L4 autonomous driving will be enabled from 2020 via a software upgrade, as will future sensor and camera upgrades.