Byton Challenges Tesla's EV Dominance With the M-Byte
Today at CES2019, digital automotive start-up Byton unveiled their production model M-Byte automobile, and highly connected, highly interactive machine that engineers repeatedly called a “smart device on wheels” and which seriously challenges Tesla's dominance of the electric vehicle market.
The M-Byte was first introduced as a concept car last year at CES, featuring a digital user interface, called the Shared Experience Display (SED).
It also features extensive personalization through the use of Byton's specially developed AI system and features similar autonomous driving capabilities as comparable electric vehicles coming onto the market.
Shared Experience Display
The centerpiece of the vehicle is the 48-inch Shared Experience Display, a curved screen built into the dashboard of the car.
It can display navigation information, various entertainment options, and other information relevant to the driver and passenger experience.
The system is controlled on the driver's side through a tablet interface built into the steering wheel that remains in the same position even when turning the wheel, leaving the interface available to the driver without disruption.
Along the side of the tablet interface are buttons that control more basic functionality for the car (lights, defroster, etc.).
Passengers can utilize a center console touchscreen to interact with the display just as the driver can and everyone in the vehicle has access to as many as five points of interaction for the SED: facial recognition, voice recognition, gesture control, the touchscreen interface, and strategically used buttons throughout the vehicle.
The voice recognition interface is important since this is the primary way of interacting with Amazon's Alexa, fully integrated into the M-Byte.
The Alexa experience is exactly the same as it is at home, providing a seamless experience from home to commute.
Powered By Byton's AI Ecosystem
Amazon's Alexa isn't the only AI powering the vehicle.
The M-Byte features Byton's own AI system that tailors everything from mirror positions to music playlists to a Byton ID, issued to every user of the vehicle. Using this ID, Byton's AI system monitors the behavior of individual drivers to create personalized experiences.
Byton's AI can even suggest restaurants along your route that fit a driver's eating preferences.
With all of the concern nowadays around data security, having this much personal information might be a cause for concern among some.
Aware of this concern, Byton's team of security professionals have built the best data security system available.
One of their security team members literally wrote the book on car hacking and the team as a whole won DefCon's Car Hacking challenge two years in a row.
Engineered For The Future
The biggest challenge for electric vehicles have been charging times, a challenge Tesla has come a long way in overcoming and which the M-Byte conquers by charging the vehicle's battery up to 80% in as little as 30 minutes. Like the Tesla Model 3, the M-Byte has a range of about 250 miles on a full charge.
While engineers like to call the M-Byte a smart device on wheels, there is no question that it is still very much a car, so it should last you several years.
As such, engineers left the SED and other digital components open-ended enough to allow for future developments in software technology that can be integrated into the vehicles digital and artificial intelligence systems.
Coming Soon Then You Think
Introduced just last year as a concept, Byton is gearing up to begin production of the M-Byte series by the end of 2019, a more aggressive schedule than Tesla's most recent model. Byton plans to introduce the M-Byte priced around $45,000, though this may change.
Regardless you can expect the M-Byte to roll out in North America for the price of a standard luxury vehicle or a comparable Tesla model, but the price may be the only thing on Byton's M-Byte smart EV that can be called standard.
NASA "are simply the best in the world at modeling these materials, hands down," SMART Tire co-founder Brian Yennie tells IE.