Byton confirms the production of its electric SUV with autonomous functions in 2019
Speaking to journalists at the Los Angeles Motor Show the CEO and co-founder of Byton, Carsten Breitfeld, said that the plans outlined after the company's debut, which took place in 2016 at CES, remain unchanged.
An assembly plant in Nanjing in China is almost completed and in April 2019 the production of the M-Byte, fully electric SUV, should begin.
Deliveries will start in the Chinese market in the second half of the year, while M-Byte's European and US launches are scheduled for the second half of 2020. A second vehicle, the K-Byte sedan, is expected to be produced towards the end of 2020.
"There are other startups who say they will make a new car every year and sell 2 million cars a year." At one point some investors came to us and said that others had a better story and that ours was not much "sexy".
Today, looking at the past, there is a big difference: our history has always remained the same "declared Breitfeld, undoubtedly referring to competitors such as Faraday Future and other nascent car companies supported by Chinese investors who are struggling to reach production.
Thirty M-Byte prototypes are already on the road in China and the number is expected to reach 100 by the end of the year.
A part of these vehicles will then be introduced in the United States, where Aurora Innovation, Byton's partner on autonomous technology, will equip vehicles with self-driving systems for preliminary tests.
It is too early to say when the autonomous level 4 driving system will be ready, where no supervision or human intervention will be required.
But when M-Byte will be launched next year, customers will already have the opportunity to purchase an autonomous level 3 system, which provides the ability for the human driver to regain control.
The price of the system has not yet been finalized, but it is decided that it will be an optional feature available with the car.