Byton is making an assisted driving electric car with some interesting frills, like a 49-inch touchscreen, gesture controls, and voice commands through Amazon Alexa.
The car will debut for $45,000 in 2019, and it will be updated over time to become a self-driving car, through software updates, said Carsten Breitfeld, CEO of the company in a press conference at the beginning of the media day for CES 2018, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas.
Breitfeld drove a prototype of the car onto stage during the press event. He said the production version of the car will be level 3 vehicle, which has a number of ways to assist drivers, who ultimately control the car. Over time, the car will be upgraded to level 4, where it handles all driving functions on its own, without a human controlling it.
The point is to turn “miles into smiles.” Perhaps the most interesting feature is the 49-inch touchscreen, which spans the whole dashboard of the 76-inch-wide car. You will be able to see images from both side mirrors on the screen while you drive. Of course, I would no doubt look at the screen too much and crash the car.
The car also has a tablet screen on the driving wheel. It is rigged for voice control via Amazon Alexa, and you can control the car with hand gestures as well.
The car is packed with technology far beyond what today’s vehicles have. The company plans to ship the car in the U.S., Europe, and China.
“We will update the car through advanced software,” said Breitfeld. “We’ll also handle upgrades of sensors, cameras and other elements needed.”
The car will have a good range of 250 miles, and it will also be able to recharge enough in 20 minutes for you to drive 150 miles. 80 percent of the battery can be recharged in 30 minutes. It has horsepower of 272.