Getting To Know BYTON Concept — The World’s First Smart Intuitive Vehicle
New Generation Smart Device To Redefine Mobility Experience In The Coming Era Of Autonomous Driving. Here’s What To Expect
In a candid interview during the National Governors Association summer meeting Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, explained how 20 years from now non-autonomous cars would be akin to riding a horse to work today. But while all eyes have been on Musk, who many refer to as a real-life Tony Stark, there are more than a few companies working in the area of assisted driving who have been working away from the spotlight.
In January, during CES in Las Vegas, one such company claimed the spotlight – BYTON. The much anticipated BYTON Concept premiered to the world during CES on January 7th, 2018 in Las Vegas.
According to a report published in February this year by ReportLinker, a market research solution, the global connected car market is estimated to be USD 72.89 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 219.21 billionby 2025, at a CAGR of 14.8% from 2017 to 2025. The major factors driving the growth of the market include an increase in vehicle legislation and industry compliances regarding safety and cybersecurity of the vehicle, and increasing demand for convenient features, such as navigation, remote diagnostics, and multimedia streaming.
The new vehicle safety norms are encouraging automakers to make vehicle data more secure from remote hacking and malfunctioning, which in turn is increasing the demand for connected cars. On the other hand, the absence of strong network infrastructure in developing countries may create a challenge to the growth of the connected car market.
Asia Pacific will remain the largest and fastest-growing region during the forecast period
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing region for connected cars during the forecast period. One of the key drivers for the Asia Pacific market is the increased demand for infotainment and navigation services, particularly in China, Japan, and South Korea. The tech-savvy population in these countries demands a better and connected driving experience.
China already has some regulations in place in this domain. In 2017, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) issued a draft to establish national standards for China’s Intelligent and Connected Vehicles (ICVs).
BYTON co-founders Dr. Carsten Breitfeld and Dr. Daniel Kirchert revealed the world’s first Smart Intuitive Vehicle (SIV) to the world’s most trusted voices in the technology and automotive industries. With the vision to turn miles into smiles, BYTON replaces horsepower with digital power and aim to create a new world with smart and connected mobility.
The new SUV will be manufactured at BYTON’s plant in Nanjing, China. Its price will start at USD $45,000. The car will be available in China towards the end of 2019, and in the U.S. 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
- Unique 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
Since its inception in 2016, BYTON has made its global vision clear by establishing a strategic presence in China, Germany and the US as the global digital transformation in the mobility sector comes of age. BYTON’s global operation center, manufacturing base and global R&D center are located in Nanjing, China. In December last year, BYTON opened their North America headquarters in San Francisco. Covering an area of 80,000 square feet, BYTON’s North American headquarters has over more than 120 employees, bringing together a number of leading talents in smart connected technology from across the world. BYTON plans to add another 200 jobs in the next year.
We spoke to the company about safety tests, competition and how a start price of $45,000 is changing the game for connected automobiles. Responses on behalf of BYTON;
We’ve seen many concept cars not make it. BYTON is celebrated for its launch at CES. Tell us about any challenges in the process of creation of the SIV and how you dealt with it.
BYTON: In the process of creating the SIV, we faced plenty of challenges and difficulties. For example, our experts are from many different fields (tech, auto, etc.) that all wanted to put the latest and greatest technologies into this model. That would make the complexity extremely high. We made clear target settings based on: prioritizing the right settings, effective cost control and efficient decision-making.
Give us some details about the testing procedure for the SIV?
The SIV will complete a standard car testing procedure starting this summer and completed end of 2019. The testing will include a durability test, a high temperature test, a crash test, and others to meet all requirements such as safety, homologation, etc.
How do you differentiate yourself from other smart autonomous cars that have been in the news?
BYTON has many distinctive features:
In term of the product:
- From the very beginning we aimed to produce the “next generation smart device” rather than just another electric car. We have always adhered to this direction and are convinced it is the right approach.
- Our seamless connectivity and smart user experience will set us apart from others. Intelligence is a trend in the automobile industry, but user experience may be different when implemented in specific products. Some elements may be appreciated by consumers, while others might not be so easy to use. We have our own thoughts about user experience, which is where BYTON will be unique.
- Our product design will strike a balance between tradition and modernity;
- Our product is positioned as high quality with a reasonable price;
- We choose to build our own factories to master key manufacturing competencies, ensuring product quality.
In terms of our company and brand:
- We have a great team, with successful experience in manufacturing luxury cars and advantages in Internet technology;
- We have our own business philosophy – approachability.
- We are committed to building a premium brand rooted in China with a global presence, targeting markets in China, the United States and Europe.
At a start price of $45,000 and ready to launch in late 2019, many are calling BYTON’s creation an affordable concept car making the dream more real. How do you see road evolving to facilitate the advent of smart cars?
The biggest step in the car and mobility industry is to make the cars smart. This means adding AI for autonomous driving and connectivity. We want to create a new user experience and give people something different: BYTON wants to be the first real, smart car in the market.
Now it’s about bringing the product to the people as quickly as possible. This won’t happen if the company is developing everything on its own, especially when it comes to autonomous driving. Some companies are developing the technology on their own. But, when you look at cost and safety, there will be only a few companies who will be able to have the power and specialist to make it possible. One major step we’ve taken has been our recent partnership with Aurora, a leading leader in autonomous driving, who we feel they will be one of the strongest companies providing these solutions.
What’s next for BYTON?
BYTON plans to begin sales of the vehicles in China in 2019, and in the US in 2020.