Jumped into the spotlight earlier this year after releasing its M-byte SUV concept, intelligent electric vehicle maker Byton has unveiled its premium sedan concept at CES Asia in Shanghai that showcased the brand’s design vision.
Called the Byton K-Byte Concept, the three-box sporty sedan is made for the age of autonomous driving with integrated and retractable sensors that strike a fine balance between aesthetics and real-world practicality.
Byton has partnered with Aurora, the world’s leading autonomous driving technology firm, to develop a Level 4 autonomous driving program. L4 is defined as a state where the car can operate without human input or oversight but only under specific select conditions. By the end of 2020, the two companies will have a fleet of prototype vehicles with L4 autonomous driving capabilities ready for testing, in preparation for L4-ready mass production and delivery.
Sensor integration for autonomous driving is front and center within the K-Byte Concept’s design aesthetic. With an elegant and slender module on the rooftop, the bow-shaped Byton LiBow system integrates front and rear lidar sensors to allow for a full-view panoramic scan of the vehicle’s surroundings. Byton’s retractable LiGuards side lidar system is located below the side-view cameras. The system will deploy in the autonomous driving mode to ensure driving safety and retract automatically during parking maneuvers; moreover, these lidars can all be illuminated for a range of specific purposes, such as signaling pedestrians.
Byton’s designers, without any superfluous decoration, have carefully polished each line, although the innovative C-pillar design takes its inspiration from the buttresses seen in architecture, presenting a graceful curve while delivering aerodynamic performance. The windows and sunroof are expanded to emphasize safety while creating a generous greenhouse enabling drivers and passengers to fully enjoy the outside world. The Byton K-Byte Concept also has an impressive front face, upgraded Byton Smart Surfaces deployed on both fascia and tail for a stunning echo effect, and a layout of light strips creating a deep three-dimensional visual while giving an enhanced sense of technology being utilized. Immediately above the Smart Surfaces is an integrated taillight that runs through to the tail and drawing comparisons to the horizon.
Byton has created a “Byte” naming system, and has now applied the name “M-Byte” the SUV it unveiled in January. “By adopting this naming strategy, Byton celebrates our brand DNA as a next-generation smart device,” said Byton CEO Dr. Carsten Breitfeld. “Following from our first model, the Byton M-Byte Concept, the K-Byte Concept represents a breakthrough in the design of smart connected vehicles. It changes the design language of traditional cars, delivering a perfect blend of elegance, style, luxury, and sportiness, and introducing new design aesthetics in the age of shared mobility and autonomous driving.”
Byton plans to have working prototypes of the K-Byte sedan testing on roads by the end of 2020. Byton expects to begin deliveries in 2021. M-Byte SUV ales are targeted for late 2019.