The automotive industry is quickly trying to catch up with new technology in the works and technology currently on the market. The people at Byton, a relatively young electric car company, are working towards fusing two recent popular technologies: electric cars and autonomous driving.
Co-Founders of Byton, Carsten Breitfeld and Daniel Kirchert announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show that they plan to have three autonomous electric cars ready for production in 2019. The cars featured at the show, the K-Byte model and the M-Byte model, showcase the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The less expensive of the two, the M-Byte is set to begin production in 2019, with a projected release of the K-Byte Sedan in 2021. Byton has also promised a third model which should emerge on the market around 2023.
“To achieve this milestone, we went from thinking mechanically to thinking digitally,” says Breitfeld at a CES press event. Last year the company previewed a prototype of their M-Byte model, but now they are closer to having the first self-driving electric vehicle with a price tag of $45,000. The car, which has the capability to be upgraded to level 3 autonomous driving, is a significant push towards the future. Level 3 autonomous driving is proposed for the future, where the car will do most of the driving.
The new Byton models will be equipped with integrated Amazon Alexa, so both drivers and passengers can issue commands to play music. Additionally, the company plans to offer customers the Byton Life Platform, which allows passengers to engage with the car. “The Byton M-Byte could be the most important digital device in your life,” Breitfeld says.
Details of the interior of the M-Byte model includes a 48 inch screen and touch display at the center of the steering wheel so drivers can view settings, a calendar, and even music. Perfect for the autonomous vehicles of the future where a driver will be rather pointless. A dashboard camera set on the driver remains monitoring for alertness in case the driver needs to take the wheel during an emergency situation.
“We are on track to start production by the end of this year,” says Kirchert. “The fully operational capacity will be 300,000 cars a year.”