Byton’s electric concept car wowed at CES, and for good reason.
The SUV has a lot of strong features, including a max range of 323 miles for the upgraded version, and a starting price of just $45,000. But the real jaw-dropping feature is a 49-inch display that covers the entire dash, providing a multifunctional information and entertainment interface in a way quite unlike anything else out there in the automotive world.
It’s not the only display in the vehicle, either — there’s a tablet set in the steering wheel itself, which remains in a fixed orientation even as the wheel turns around it. There are two displays in the front-seat headrests, too, giving passengers access to a range of entertainment, cabin control and infotainment options. And there are even slots in the armrests for your smartphone, which then become an extension of the car’s software system using a Byton app.
I got to ride along in the Byton Concept SUV and experience the innovative digital information system firsthand, and it’s unlike anything put forward by an automaker before. There are familiar elements, including maps and navigation, as well as streaming music services, but there also are a host of other, less expected apps and features — like health services, including fitness tracking for the car’s driver, a movie store, extensive office and calendar integration and much more.
All of this is accessible through a central hub that takes the shape of an oddly angled geometric shape, which you can twist and turn using hand gestures thanks to the dash-mounted camera motion input system. You also can use gestures to dive deeper through menus, control playback and even arrange elements on the 49-inch screen, allowing you or a passenger to set up your driving desktop however you prefer.