Byton, the Chinese electric vehicle company, made a big splash with its Byton M-Byte SUV with four screens, facial recognition, and fitness tracker earlier this year.
Now it has another concept vehicle to show off, but this time it’s a luxury electric sedan with more autonomous driving capabilities. At CES Asia the electric car startup is introducing the K-Byte, built on the same technical platform as the SUV. That means it shares the same specs and features as the SUV, including the battery with a max range of 323 miles on a single charge.
“It’s easy to recognize,” as a Byton vehicle, CEO Carsten Breitfeld said in a phone call ahead of the unveiling. He called the K-Byte “a modern interpretation of a sedan.”
Breitfeld said the car is designed for autonomous driving, but more importantly he wanted to incorporate the sensors, lasers, LIDAR and other self-driving equipment into the design. “We want to show in the future it’s not any longer about exhaust pipes, it’s about data, power and connectivity,” he said.
The car will be capable of Level 4 autonomy through a partnership with Aurora, which means it can drive on its own without a human driver — but only in designated areas, if a city limits it. In China, there are pilot programs where officials approve certain roads for higher levels of autonomy, Breitfeld said. The SUV is configured for Level 3 autonomy.
The new car is targeting a $45,000 starting price just like the SUV. The sedan wants to make it onto the market in 2021.
Following these two ideas, Breitfeld said the company is working on a seven-seater electric vehicle that would be used for ride-hailing, shared rides, and carpooling. But that’s a concept for next year.
If this all sounds too good to be true, remember these are all concepts — Byton hasn’t produced the cars yet.