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BYTON Reveals New Electric K-Byte Concept Car at CES Asia

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【Summary】China-based Intelligent electric vehicle startup BYTON unveiled its premium electric sedan Concept during a global debut event today at CES Asia in Shanghai. The new concept showcases the brand’s design vision for next-generation electric vehicles.

Eric Walz    Jun 12, 2018 11:38 AM PT
BYTON Reveals New Electric K-Byte Concept Car at CES Asia
author: Eric Walz   

China-based Intelligent electric vehicle startup BYTON unveiled its premium electric sedan Concept during a global debut event today at CES Asia in Shanghai. The new concept showcases the brand's design vision for next-generation electric vehicles. The car is called the BYTON K-Byte Concept and it is made for autonomous driving, with integrated and retractable sensors lidar and radar sensors.

BYTON has partnered with Aurora, a Silicon Valley-based autonomous driving technology firm co-founded by Chris Urmson, the former head of Google's first self-driving car program. Aurora will develop the Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving system for the car. Aurora's suite of autonomous hardware, including cameras, radar and lidar scanners, has been designed so that components can be upgraded as technology develops.

By the end of 2020, BYTON and Aurora plan to have a fleet of prototype vehicles with L4 autonomous driving capabilities ready for real-world testing, in preparation for the mass-production of the concept vehicle.

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Integrating sensors required for autonomous driving is a challenge for many car designers and maintaining vehicle aesthetics was an important goal for BYTON with the K-Byte Concept.

The car has a compact and slender module on the rooftop BYTON calls the LiBow system. 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 did their best to hide the lidar sensors by designing a unique, retractable side lidar system located below the side-view cameras. This ‘LiGuard' system will deploy in autonomous driving mode to ensure driving safety and retract automatically during parking maneuvers. In addition, these lidars can all be illuminated for different purposes, such as signaling pedestrians that its safe to cross the street, or signaling that the car is driving in "autonomous mode".

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BYTON's retractable side lidar

BYTON's designers have carefully polished each line, achieving a sleek look while delivering aerodynamic performance. The windows and sunroof are made larger to emphasize safety while creates a light, airy cabin enabling drivers and passengers to fully experience the outside world.

The K-Byte Concept underscores BYTON's new product-naming strategy. The company will use the term "Byte" to label its planned series of vehicles that are built on a shared platform. In addition to the BYTON K-Byte Concept, its SUV previously announced in January 2018 has been officially named the BYTON M-Byte Concept. The naming strategy is derived from the company's name, which stands for "Bytes on Wheels," symbolizing the brand's vision for advanced vehicle design, with the vehicle becoming a high-tech, connected, mobile computer.

"By adopting this naming strategy, BYTON celebrates our brand DNA as a next-generation smart device," said Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and co-founder, BYTON. "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 president and co-founder Dr. Daniel Kirchert added: "BYTON's mission is to be a leader in next-generation smart devices.

The K-Byte Concept shows that we can deliver our platform in different shapes and with different features to suit different lifestyles. Furthermore, building the car on the same platform as the M-Byte Concept enables us to streamline and scale the production as well as save costs. We are fully confident that we will meet our commitment to deliver the sedan to market in 2021."

The cars will be built in China, where its R&D facility is located. BYTON just revealed $500 million in funding, which will help the company to get ready for production.

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