- BYTON K-Byte Concept makes global debut, defining the new aesthetics of auto design in the age of autonomous driving
- Series products will be named with “Byte”, a naming strategy highlighting “smart” DNA
- First brand store to be opened in Shanghai in the fourth quarter, with another 25-30 openings in China next year
- “BYTON Co-creator” program launched to invite core users to directly engage in the R&D process in an in-depth and enduring manner
- Nanjing plant construction now in full swing; first prototype vehicle has already rolled off the line at the trial workshop
- Series B fundraising successfully completed, raising $500 million, led by FAW Group
BYTON unveiled its Premium Sedan Concept in a global debut in Shanghai today, a marque showcasing the brand’s vision of design. The start-up car manufacturer also shared the latest developments in its mass production preparations, strategic partnership, fundraising and business models. BYTON also announced the kickoff of “BYTON Co-creator”, a program aimed at greater customer engagement in its product development process.
BYTON also unveiled its product-naming strategy for the first time during the event, that it would use the term “Byte” to label its series of products built on a shared platform. Among them, the Premium Sedan Concept launched today will be known as the BYTON K-Byte Concept, and the first SUV model released previously has been named as the BYTON M-Byte Concept. The naming strategy has been derived from the company’s brand BYTON, which stands for “Bytes on Wheels”. As “Byte” is the fundamental unit of measurement for data in computer science, this naming strategy symbolizes the digital power of BYTON’s offerings and the brand’s inspirational vision for a connected mobility life.
BYTON’s CEO and Co-founder Dr. Carsten Breitfeld said: “By adopting this naming strategy, BYTON looks to highlight our brand DNA of “next-generation smart device”.
Following our first model BYTON M-Byte Concept, BYTON K-Byte Concept, which was unveiled today, 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 introduced new aesthetics of design in the age of autonomous driving.”
BYTON President and Co-founder Dr. Daniel Kirchert added: “BYTON always insists on one of its key brand values being ‘approachable’. Our ‘BYTON Co-creator’ program invites core users to directly engage in the R&D process in an in-depth and enduring manner, which is the first initiative of its kind among carmakers. This program will not only collect the most valuable suggestions and feedback from our core users, it will also help establish a deep trust and friendships between BYTON and its customers.”
Trend-setter: defining the new aesthetics of autonomous driving
BYTON K-Byte Concept is a three-box sedan with bodywork that celebrates masculinity, stability as well as sportiness. The car is 4.95m in length, 1.95m in width and 1.50m in height with a wheelbase measuring 3.00m. The proportions of the body are as exquisite as a sculpture. The designers, without any superfluous decoration, have carefully polished each line. The innovative C-pillar design (Gliding Buttress) took its inspiration from the buttresses seen in architecture, presenting a graceful curve whilst delivering excellent aerodynamic performance.
The BYTON K-Byte Concept has an impressive front face, in line with the unique design style of the rest of the BYTON family. The car features the upgraded BYTON Smart Surfaces, with the layout of light strips creating a three-dimensional, deep visual while giving an enhanced sense of technology being utilized. The daytime driving lights are arranged like six diamonds in a row, forming the clear, sharp and highly recognizable BYTON Front Blade. The Smart Surfaces of the BYTON family are deployed in both the front face and the tail part, delivering a stunning echo effect. Immediately above the Smart Surfaces is an integrated taillight that runs through to the tail – with its crisp and concise styling, it draws comparisons to the horizon.
Furthermore, the windows and sunroof section in the cockpit of BYTON K-Byte Concept has been significantly increased with an emphasis on safety to create a “generous greenhouse” that enables drivers and passengers to fully enjoy the sunshine.
As a “next-generation smart device" designed for the age of autonomous driving, BYTON K-Byte Concept perfectly integrates the new elements of autonomous driving such as lidar. This demonstrates the digital power of BYTON in a vivid and harmonious fashion while striking a fine balance between aesthetics and real-world practicality.
Encapsulated in an elegant and slender module on the rooftop, the bow-shaped BYTON LiBow lidar system integrates front and rear lidars to allow for a full-view panoramic scan of the vehicle’s surroundings. The retractable BYTON LiGuards side lidar system is located below the side-view cameras. BYTON LiGuards deploy in autonomous driving mode to ensure driving safety and retract automatically during parking maneuvers. Moreover, these lidars can all be illuminated in accordance to various usage scenarios in order to signal pedestrians.
BYTON is currently working with the world’s leading autonomous driving technology firm Aurora to develop an L4 autonomous driving program. By the end of 2020, the two companies will have a fleet of prototype vehicles with L4 autonomous driving capabilities and will test these vehicles to prepare for the delivery of L4-ready mass production.
Approachable: creating a user-centric brand experience
At today’s event, BYTON unveiled its plan for BYTON Brand Store for the first time. The company will adopt a direct sales mode and launch the first BYTON Brand Store in Shanghai in the last quarter of this year. In the planned roll-out in the future, BYTON will mainly work closely with its retail partners, under which BYTON will establish the processes and standards and offer contracts directly to the customers. The retail partners will be responsible for providing the infrastructure and personnel for the Brand Stores operation as agents.
BYTON plans to open 25-30 brand stores in China before the end of next year, mainly in first- and second-tier cities, then build stores in major cities in Europe and North America.
BYTON Brand Store advocates the design concept of making “every minute, every square meter” valuable. From the very beginning, the brand store will be designed with different functional sections from the perspective of consumers, allowing them to know BYTON, to explore products, to make friends, to learn knowledge and to own BYTON starting an enjoyable experience.
Like BYTON cars, the BYTON Brand Store is also an assembly of cutting-edge technologies: BYTON users can “log in” to the brand store via scanning of QR codes or face recognition. Also through AR technology, we can demonstrate the “invisible” technologies embedded in our products, such as body structure and battery, as well as present user usage scenarios and provide test drive experiences. This includes user scenarios that are difficult to experience in an on-road test drive, which can be demonstrated using large screen and multi-dimensional controls via a simulator. By doing so, customers can experience BYTON’s products without having to sit in a show car. In addition, through online video conference, consumers can communicate face-to-face with BYTON’s engineers and designers throughout Germany, the United States and Nanjing in China.
BYTON also officially launched the “BYTON Co-creator” program as part of its efforts to strengthen the connection between BYTON and its users, and better understand its customers’ needs. The company will recruit dozens of users from professional backgrounds with technical knowledge and an enthusiasm for design from the customers who make a first-batch reservation or pre-orders as BYTON’s co-creators, who will be invited to participate in the design process of BYTON’s products and services, and communicate their ideas directly to BYTON’s engineers and designers. They will be the first non-employees to witness BYTON’s product prototypes.
The first batch of BYTON co-creators have already participated in the design process of user interface experience.
In early July, BYTON will invite a group of co-creators to its design center in Munich, Germany, to engage in extensive deliberations on exterior and interior design.
A powerful creator: establishing “four haves” benchmark among emerging car-builders
BYTON has purposely created a new platform for electric vehicles that is highly flexible and compatible with a wide range of body types and sizes as well as powertrain configurations. The first SUV model built on this platform was unveiled at CES 2018 in January this year; the mass production of this vehicle will start before the end of 2019, while the production version of the sedan model will go to market in 2021.
The construction of BYTON’s Nanjing Plant is progressing smoothly. Constructed on the concepts of Made in China 2025, the Industrial 4.0 Standard and sustainable development, the factory is embracing the highest quality standards and environmental safety values of the same scale. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art production equipment and will be able to achieve highly customized production output. This project has been listed as one of the five key projects in Jiangsu Province.
On April 1, the trial workshop was officially completed, which consists of three parts: welding line, assembly line and quality inspection line. On May 23, BYTON’s first trial prototype came off the assembly line. By the end of this year, around 100 trial prototypes will be delivered and relevant testing work will also be carried out in schedule.
In October this year, the construction of four major workshops at the Nanjing Plant – stamping, welding, painting and assembly – will be completed and the equipment will have been installed. In the first half of 2019, BYTON will enter the pre-production phase.
BYTON has recently completed its Series B fundraising, raising a total fund of $500 million led by FAW Group. Other key investors include TusHoldings, CATL, Baidu, China Merchants Capital, and Jiangsu “One Belt and One Road” Fund.
As BYTON’s important strategic partner, FAW will work with BYTON to conduct in-depth and extensive collaboration in areas such as product development, manufacturing, sales and service.
The successful completion of the Series B fundraising has provided a strong financial guarantee for the mass production of the first SUV model as well as the R&D activities of the next stage.
BYTON will establish “four haves” benchmark in terms of technology, products, capital and plant facilities among emerging car manufacturers, powered by its steady and robust advancement on various fronts.
It is not about refining cars. It is about refining life.
BYTON aspires to build premium intelligent electric vehicles for the future. Its crafted cars integrate advanced digital technologies to offer customers a smart, sage, comfortable and eco-friendly driving and mobility experience.
BYTON aims to create a premium brand rooted in China which has a global reach. Its global headquarters, intelligent manufacturing base and R&D center are located in Nanjing, China, while its North American headquarters, devoted to intelligent car experience, autonomous driving, whole vehicle integration and other cutting-edge technologies, is based in the Silicon Valley. The company’s vehicle concept and design center is located in Munich. BYTON also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to handle external affairs, marketing, sales, design and investor relations.
BYTON’s core management team is made up of the world’s top experts from China, Europe and the U.S., all of whom have held senior management positions in innovative companies such as BMW, Tesla, Google and Apple. Their expertise covers automotive design, automotive engineering and manufacturing, electric powertrain, intelligent connectivity, autonomous driving, user interface and supply chain management among other industry sectors, the sum of which represents BYTON’s strengths in manufacturing premium automobiles that are equipped with high quality internet technologies.