Beijing-based electric vehicle (EV) maker Byton showcased the production version of its M-Byte SUV model on Sunday at CES 2020, the annual tech trade show in Las Vegas, and announced a wave of partnership to enrich its in-car entertainment experience, local media Tencent News reported.
The long-awaited M-Byte, presented for the first time in the US market, features a 48-inch screen that spans the whole dashboard, offering content such as weather, GPS, media, and stock prices, among others. The firm announced a wide range of key partnerships to power various functions of the vehicle’s massive screen, including one with mass media conglomerate ViacomCBS and ACCESS, which will allow passengers to stream television programming and movies in the vehicle.
Other partners include AccuWeather for real-time weather updates, Aiqudo for voice command of mobile apps, CloudCar for cloud-based information and services, Road.Travel for online trip booking service, and Xperi for digital HD radio, Byton announced.
Byton’s first SUV will also incorporate a smaller touchscreen built into the driver’s steering wheel allowing access to functions such as settings, music, and calendar, while passengers can enjoy multimedia experiences from a tablet placed in the center armrest area, and additional screens located on the seatbacks of the vehicle.
The EV maker also announced that it will launch a developer program for partners and developers worldwide to develop apps and services focused on Byton’s new SUV. The company has already released the guidelines for UX Design and app development as part of the program.
The M-Byte, which was first presented in Europe at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, is expected to enter mass production in mid-2020, and will be first launched in China and later delivered in Europe and North America by 2021, said the company. The model, which will start at USD 45,000 and grants over 430 kilometers of range per charge, has already collected more than 50,000 orders worldwide as of November 2019.
The firm is currently in the progress of raising a targeted USD 500 million Series C funding from investors including China’s oldest automaker FAW, governmental funds affiliated with the capital city of Jiangsu province, Nanjing, and South Korean auto parts supplier Myoung Shin.
Marubeni Corporation, one of the top five Japanese trading companies, also signed up a deal with Byton to join the company’s investor roster and to establish a strategic partnership in ride-hailing service, power, energy solutions, and production and sales of Byton models overseas.