Byton is trying to make a splashy debut at CES, with a focus on the digital experience over the driving experience. The Nanking, China company introduced their debut vehicle concept at CES on Sunday, rolling out new connectivity-focused electric crossover. Their unveiling comes one year after Faraday Future made a splash at CES, and then only to scale back its ambitions within months.
“It’s as intuitive to operate as any smart device you’ve ever seen,” Breitfeld said. Byton recently opened an office in Silicon Valley with plans to sell its first vehicle in China in 2019 hoping to move to the US at a later date.
The concept’s sloped exterior replaces standard parts with smarter technology. In leu of door handles, the concept opts for facial recognition sensors that can detect drivers and passengers and open doors accordingly. Side-view cameras replace mirrors. In place of a grille, a screen displays. The concept’s interior contains four seats with rotating front seats.
Byton has said the first vehicles will have Level 3 autonomous driving. This means, essentially, that the car can drive itself, but only under certain conditions and under human supervision. Byton expects to install Level 4 capability, which requires no human supervision under defined conditions, perhaps sometime in the next decade.
Within the cockpit spans a 49 inch screen that can be controlled by touch, voice, or gesture. It is customized for both the driver and the front seat passenger. It can limit the amount of information available depending on whether or not a human is driving.
Along with all of these features, Byton is also working hard to team up with Amazon to integrate the tech company’s Alexa Virtual Assistant into its vehicle.