A Chinese startup unveiled its vision for the automobile of the future Sunday at CES 2018, promising to Provide an “intuitive and intelligent” car to International markets Beginning next year from around $45,000.The electric-powered concept car revealed by Byton in CES in Las Vegas is touted as a computing device on wheels, equipped with a “electronic” lounge featuring a panoramic screen acting as a hub for navigation, entertainment and even tracking the health of its occupants.

Backed by more than $200 million from shareholders such as Chinese tech giant Tencent, Byton — whose name has been chosen to indicate “bytes on wheels” — is among the most recent entrants into a crowded field of startups and established players looking to emulate Tesla in the race for a new type of vehicle which can be adapted for autonomous driving.

“This is a item which is tailor-made for the future, which is shared and autonomous,” said Daniel Kirchert, president and co-founder of this Nanjing-based startup.

Byton, headed by former executives in Tesla, BMW, Apple, and Google, said it expects to launch in China by 2019 and at the United States and Europe by 2020.

“This is going to be the most innovative automobile in the marketplace as of 2019,” said chairman and chief executive Carsten Breitfeld, a former BMW executive, at a demonstration in one of their first media events in the huge electronics show.

The Byton car will use facial recognition to unlock and accommodate to the driver and offer a range of other tactics to interact including voice control with Amazon Alexa, gesture and touch.

It’ll include 5G connectivity to the online cloud and improve its functions with artificial intelligence.

“It will improve your experience the more it knows you,” explained Kirchert.

Though other concept electric automobiles have been promoted at costs of $100,000 or more, the new Byton will face competition in the Tesla Model 3 and offerings from leading automakers.

Byton said the car will have a range of over 500 kilometres (300 miles) before needing a recharge and are going to be able to “top up” its battery in 15 to half an hour.

It will be offered with “level 3” autonomy that allows some functions without a driver and also be effective at “level 4” to get near-autonomous function from 2020, according to the organization.


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