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CES LIVE: Byton M-Byte gets 48-in infotainment screen

by Ronan Glon

And a screen right in the middle of the steering wheel.

Chinese electric car start-up Byton unveiled the interior of its first production car at CES 2019. Called M-Byte, the crossover boasts several world firsts in the fields of infotainment and connectivity technology.

We first saw the M-Byte as a concept car during the 2018 edition of CES. Fast forward a year later and the crossover's cabin is ready for production. It still looks concept-like because it comes with a 48-inch screen named Shared Experience Display (SED) that's nearly as wide as the dashboard. The screen replaces the instrument cluster and the touch screen normally found in the center console, while giving the front passenger an extra screen to stay connected or entertained on-the-go.

On its own, putting a screen wider than most people's TVs on the dashboard of a crossover is an eyebrow-raising move. Byton didn't stop there. Because the driver can't safely tap a navigation destination into the SED, the firm embedded a seven-inch, tablet-like touch screen into the steering wheel. You read that right. It's directly above the airbag, and it's a layout that allegedly meets all applicable safety standards in Byton's target markets. The front passenger uses an eight-inch screen located between seats to navigate the SED.

For Byton, delivering an infotainment experience unlike anything else is more important than performance, handling, or specifications. Technical details about the M-Byte remain vague. It's fully electric, and the line-up will include two models rated at approximately 250 and 320 miles of range, respectively.

Byton will fully reveal the M-Byte during the summer of 2019, and production will start in China shortly after. The crossover could cost approximately $45,000 when it goes on sale in America in about 2020. 

Live images by Ronan Glon.

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