As promised, China’s EV startup Byton has revealed new details about its first production model at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
As previewed by the namesake concept last year, Byton’s M-Byte SUV will pack a monumental display — and now we learn exactly how big it is. When it enters production in late 2019, the M-Byte will feature the world’s largest in-car display for a production automobile.
That’s a 48-inch Shared Experience Display (SED) digital cockpit spanning almost the entire width of the dashboard — the equivalent of seven tablets or 24 smartphones. The huge screen will act as the primary display for vehicle information such as speed, battery charge, driving range, navigation maps and more. It will also be used to display multimedia content for entertainment, as well as productivity and health monitoring.
The big question here is obviously whether the curved screen will be distracting to use. Well, Byton insists it won’t. “The position of the display has been carefully developed and tested to not affect driver line-of-sight and can automatically adjust brightness according to changes in ambient lighting to avoid further distraction,” reads the press release.
The mega display is controlled using… other displays
As if the humungous dash display wasn’t enough, the M-Byte SUV also packs two additional screens. There’s a 7-inch Driver Tablet placed right at the center of the steering wheel, just above the driver airbag. This screen serves as one of the main interfaces for the driver to configure the vehicle and interact with the SED. Yes, you read that right: the driver will need to use a screen to control another screen. Thankfully, the Driver Tablet doesn’t rotate with the steering wheel.
Then there’s an 8-inch Touch Pad located between the driver and the front passenger seats. This screen enables the front passenger to control the SED and “enjoy the same interactive experience as the driver.” And that’s not all. Rear passengers also have access to independent rear-seat entertainment screens that also share content with the SED. What happened to people talking to each other?
The M-Byte will go into mass-production in late 2019 and should launch in the U.S. in 2020
Compared to the study showcased at CES 2018, the M-Byte production model gains a new wraparound design for the dashboard with the vents, gear selector, and other hard buttons located in the center along with a driver monitoring system.
Speaking of that, the M-Byte offers Level 3 semi-autonomous driving tech with Byton’s eventual goal being to build “mobile digital lounges” that will drive themselves. The M-Byte will be packed full with tech including built-in 5G support and artificial intelligence via the Byton Byte OS that integrates Amazon Alexa.
The M-Byte crossover will be fully revealed in mid-2019 and will enter production in Nanjing, China before the end of the year. Byton will sell two versions, an entry-level RWD model with a 71kWh battery pack enabling 248 miles (400 km) of range and an AWD variant with a 95kWh battery and a range of 323 miles (520 km). The goal is to offer the base model from $45,000 in the United States.