China’s Byton Thinks A Steering Wheel-Mounted Tablet Is A Great Idea

CES is less than a week away and Byton will use the event to showcase what they’re calling the “world’s most intuitive automotive interface.”

The company is keeping details under wraps, but they released a teaser image which appears to show the production interior of the M-Byte. The image has been purposely darkened, but we can see the cabin will follow in the footsteps of the concept that debuted at last year’s CES.

Despite the similarities, this model has a revised steering wheel which features an integrated screen that the company calls a “Driver Tablet.” As you can see in the teaser image, it provides easy access to commonly used features such as the radio and climate control system and also has icons for apps and settings.

Additional details are hard to make out, but the dashboard is curvier than the one used in the M-Byte concept and features a different widescreen display. There’s no word on how large the display is, but the concept had a 49 x 9.8 inch (124 x 24 cm) shared experience display which would automatically adjust its brightness according to lighting conditions.

Details about the information system will be released on January 6th, but Byton has already said the M-Byte will go into production in China later this year. Following in domestic market launch, the M-Byte will arrive in the United States in 2020 with a base price of $45,000.

The entry-level model will have a 71 kWh battery pack powering an electric motor that produces 268 hp (200 kW / 272 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. This will enable the rear-wheel drive crossover to travel up to 248 miles (400 km) on a single charge.

The company will also offer an all-wheel drive variant which has two electric motors that produce a combined output of 469 hp (350 kW / 475 PS) and 523 lb-ft (710 Nm) of torque. They will be powered by a larger 95 kWh battery pack, which will enable the M-Byte to travel up to 323 miles (520 km).

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  • Hi I am Zako

    Holy cow, this is going too far… I mean bigger screen doesn’t mean any better.

  • Bash

    That’s not right.

  • Mike Gonzalez

    Imagine that tablet exploding in a thousand pieces in an impact… your face is F’d

    • Bo Hanan

      Just a stupid idea- realized.

  • Christian Wimmer

    That’s waaaaay to big (and potentially distracting).

    I am driving the new Mercedes A-Class and the large tablet screen is just right and placed in such a position where it doesn’t distract your field of outward vision.

  • Mike anonymous

    I didn’t want to comment on this, but I feel like these are people; who are NOT ‘millennials’, trying to cater to people who ARE ‘millennials’, who don’t actually understand ‘millennials’.

    The screen on the steering wheel is extremely nice standing still, but in practice creates problems (usability when driving, diver safety, 3rd-party safety, comfort/distraction, etc) to something that did not need a ‘solution’. “They love phones and screens, so the must want phone/screens everywhere”. I will say this (and I believe this applies to millennials and non-millennials… people have these phones & these devices,.. so they don’t ‘have’ to have screens everywhere (especially when driving).

    • KareKakk

      The screen stays in place when you rotate the steering wheel. Citroën C4 says hello.

    • EXACTLY. WE LIVE IN A WIDESCREEN WORLD YET YOU SEE PEOPLE WATCHING MOVIES IN PORTRAIT MODE ON THEIR PHONES. ALL THESE COMPANIES TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE CARS MORE ENTERTAINMENT FRIENDLY ARE MISSING THE MARK.

  • Hello Moto ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Where are they putting the driver’s airbag, behind the screen?

  • wait a minute

    If it goes to production at that size it might just be an option only. A smaller screen version will be most likely be offered as standard.

  • wait a minute

    IMO the Best digital dashboards today are Audi and vw, followed by Mercedes and Tesla.

  • Matteo Tommasi

    People will still use their phones and tablets while driving

  • john1168

    I take it the screen doesn’t spin around as you turn the steering wheel? It appears so… How many screens does one need in front of them??? I love the new digital instrument clusters but with this car you have one gigantic screen on the dash and then another smaller screen on the steering wheel… That’s a lot of screen bombarding the driver with what’s probably a lot of crap information. And like others have said, I’m not going to enjoy eating that screen if the airbag deploys. I’m sure it’s hinged somehow so when the bag does deploy, the screen just flops out of the way.

    • Axel Cortez

      it doesnt spin

      • john1168

        I had a feeling it didn’t.

    • A WARNING COMES UP BEFORE YOU CRASH “YOUR AIR BAG IS ABOUT TO DEPLOY, PLEASE SAVE FILES YOU ARE WORKING ON”.

      • john1168

        LOL…

  • CJKnox
  • jaykit

    Why not just cover the whole windshield in an OLED screen? The blindspots are already large enough. Then you can Tweet or update Instagram from the driver’s seat. Once you are done you can get in your real car and go somewhere.

    I do like the exterior styling though. Nice looking.

  • Um, airbags?

  • WHEN YOUR EYES ARE FOCUSED ON THE DISTANCE A GLACE AT THE SPEEDO OR CENTER STACK IS EASIER THEN TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING SO CLOSE LIKE THE STEERING WHEEL.

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