Amazon Alexa Will Be Integrated into Byton’s M-Byte SUV
- Production for the M-Byte SUV will begin late 2019 and should launch in the US in 2020.
- The M-Byte SUV will feature the world’s largest in-car display for a production automobile in addition to 2 other touchscreens.
- The Byton Byte OS integrates Amazon Alexa.
Byton, China’s electric vehicle startup showcased new details about the initial production model of the M-Byte SUV at CES 2019. Most notably, Byton’s M-Byte SUV will feature a massive 48-inch Shared Experience Display (SED), which is almost the width of the entire dashboard and will integrate Alexa as well.
Alexa Plays a Central Role for Voice Access
The promotional video of the Byton Alexa integration showcases in-car calling and messaging, sending Amazon Music playlists to friends, Alexa notifying a user of his upcoming schedule, Alexa looking up a local activity, Alexa notifying users about package delivery, and Alexa helping a user with her smart home EV charging setup. In the EV smart home charger interaction, Alexa mentioned Amazon Home Services would set up the Byte Home Charging Station while the user is at work. There is no word as to how Alexa will be integrated, and it will be interesting to see the details released over time.
The company said in a press conference yesterday that it will use voice matching technology from Alexa to identify up to three passengers uniquely within the car. This will allow for a customized experience for each passenger. For example, when you ask for your playlist, Alexa will recognize the user and start a music playlist from their profile.
Voice is Not Displacing Visuals in Byton’s New Car
Initially previewed at CES 2018, the large screen is curved and will be the primary display of vehicle information like speed, battery level, driving range, navigation, music, communication, and more. Byton insists the large screen will not be too distracting, saying in the press release that “the position of the display has been carefully developed and tested to not affect driver line-of-sight and can automatically adjust brightness according to changes in ambient lighting to avoid further distraction.”
There are two smaller tablets that will act as controls to the larger screen. The 7-inch Driver Tablet is located in the middle of the steering wheel and does not turn with the steering wheel. The 8-inch touchpad located between the driver and front passenger seat enables the front passenger to control the SED too. Even the rear passenger seats have screens–each has an entertainment screen that will share content with the large SED. Eventually, Byton says its goal is to build “mobile digital lounges” that will drive themselves. Integrating Alexa and 4 digital screens are definitely helping Byton work towards that goal.