CES 2020

Byton announces partnerships with ViacomCBS, AccuWeather

Photo courtesy of Byton

New Byton vehicles will come equipped with a 48-inch display, dubbed the M-Byte, centered at the front directly in the line of sight of all occupants of the car. In addition to relevant drive information and controls for comfort and convenience features, the screen will display entertainment programming and weather information thank to new partnerships with ViacomCBS and Accuweather.

"When Byton committed to creating the first smart device on wheels, this is exactly the kind of engagement we had in mind," said Dr. Daniel Kirchert, CEO, Byton. "The Byton M-Byte with its unique user experience will offer developers the opportunity to present in-car interactions in a way that is more engaging than ever before."

Byton interior M-Byte screen SUV Photo courtesy of Byton

The deal with ViacomCBS will make the company's content available in the vehicles via the Access Twine for Car system. The screen will deliver a rich video experience to vehicle occupants. ViacomCBS owns significant entertainment brands including BET, CBS Sports, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Bellator, Showtime, and Paramount.

"The future of in-vehicle infotainment is an exciting opportunity to strengthen and extend our connection to our audiences within today's fragmented media environment," says Ray Hopkins, President, U.S. Networks Distribution, ViacomCBS. "We look forward to building upon our relationship with Access and Byton to reimagine the entertainment experience for a new and captive generation of drivers and passengers."

The automotive startup has also partnered with AccuWeather to deliver a connected vehicle experience that goes beyond the usual in-car weather information. Byton and AccuWeather technology will report the weather conditions on demand but also inform users of upcoming changes in weather at their destination.

"Saving lives and protecting property is part of our mission statement at AccuWeather, and the primary reason why AccuWeather has invested in the global connected car industry. By partnering with Byton, AccuWeather can give drivers increased situational awareness, with minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts along their route", said Steven R. Smith, President at AccuWeather.

Byton M-Byte screen interior sunroof Photo courtesy of Byton

At CES this week, Byton also announced partnerships with Aiqudo to leverage their Voice to Action platform that would allow voice commands to allow occupants to interact with apps hands-free via Bluetooth.

"Quick and easy access to our favorite apps is a key to our digital lives. With voice command, thanks to Aiqudo, we make it safer for BYTON M-Byte drivers," noted Andreas Schaaf, CCO, Byton.

An additional contract with CloudCar will enable points-of-interest searches through apps.

"CloudCar is proud to be selected as a key enabling technology partner for the new BYTON digital platform," said Philipp Popov, CEO of CloudCar, Inc. "Combining their unique interaction capabilities with our production-proven infotainment platform that simplifies access to compelling content from numerous providers across multiple content domains will greatly enhance the overall mobility experience for active drivers and their passengers. We are excited for the incredible customer experiences that this combination of technologies will enable."

Byton has previously announced that they will bring a vehicle to market in the U.S., China, and Europe. The Byton SUV is slated to have a price tag of $45,000 and deliveries are expected to start in China later this year.

Byton is headquartered in Nanjing, China and has their R&D facility in Silicon Valley.

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The 2022 Acura TLX has the technology enabled.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Toyota and Lexus announced that the WarnerMedia RIDE app would be coming to their models earlier this year. Now, Honda and Acura will be offering the same.

On certain Wi-Fi enabled Honda and Acura vehicles, AT&T unlimited in-car Wi-Fi users will have access to the WarnerMedia RIDE app. The app allows users to connect multiple devices in their vehicles to browse, stream and share premium content from the WarnerMedia library while on the road.

Honda and Acura vehicle owners have been able to use their on-board modem as a hot spot for connecting up to seven devices since 2017. Models compatible for the new tech include the Acura RDX (2019-present), Acura TLX (2021), and Acura MDX (2022) across all trim levels. Honda vehicles with the tech include Accord (2018-present, Touring), Odyssey (2018-present; Touring, Elite), Insight (2019-present, Touring)., Passport (2019-present; Touring, Elite)., and Pilot (2019-present; Touring, Elite, Black Edition).

The WarnerMedia RIDE App allows passengers to access 1,000+ hours of live and on-demand entertainment. The app includes hit TV shows and movies from top brands such as Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and TruTV, spanning animation, entertainment, news, sports and more.

WarnerMedia RIDE app The WarnerMedia RIDE app allows users to choose their own avatar.Photo courtesy of Acura

Users can set up profiles and personalize their user exerpience with an avatar from the WarnerMedia library. Profiles also ensure age-appropriate content with options for adults to restrict access to their profiles with an access code.

"Wireless connectivity and connected car services continue to be key features for customers and our long-standing relationship with AT&T continues to be one way we deliver exciting new content to Honda and Acura owners," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of North American Auto Strategy for American Honda. "Honda will continue working to enhance the in-car experience, including the capabilities of the AT&T network and access to top content with WarnerMedia RIDE."

"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to elevate the connected car experience for our customers. With WarnerMedia RIDE, we are delivering a connected experience that's perfect for journeys," said Joe Mosele, vice president, Mobility & Internet of Things, AT&T. "Our collaboration is keeping Honda and Acura owners connected wherever they travel with hours of news and entertainment for the whole family."

WarnerMedia RIDE is available now in the App Store and on Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers. WarnerMedia RIDE is included at no additional cost for existing and new unlimited subscribers.

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Audi is adding new features to its MIB 3 system.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Starting in 2020, Audi began installing its next-gen MIB 3 infotainment system throughout its lineup. Two years on, the German automaker is adding new functionalities to the system including integrated Amazon Alexa.

The latest MIB 3 infotainment features are anticipated to be available starting summer and fall 2021 in 2022 Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q5, Q7, Q8, E-tron, and E-tron Sportback models. This includes Personalization 2.0, which allows users who have a saved profile to transfer their seat adjustment, radio station favorites, and climate control settings from vehicle to vehicle.

MIB 3 initially had Alexa as a push-to-talk function using steering wheel controls. For the new model year, Alexa will be able to be activate using "Alexa" voice commands within the cabin.

Audi MIB 3 infotainment system Audi is expanding SiriusXM with 360L to more vehicles. Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Users will an Apple ID and active Audi connect Prime or Plus subscription will be able to log into their account and play Apple Music without needing to pair a phone.

Audi is expanding its SiriusXM with 360L to more models. The tech will be offered in the 2022 E-Tron GT with a subscription. It current is available in the 2021 Audi Q3, Q5, Q7, Q8, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, E-Tron, and E-Tron Sportback.

Android Auto users will be able to wirelessly connect to Audi systems on select vehicles starting with the 2022 model year. The Audi Q3, Q5, Q7, Q8, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, E-Tron, and E-Tron Sportback all will be enabled.

New features have been added to the myAudi app as well:

  • Select models now available with Function on Demand features, including MMI Navigation plus (select Audi A4, A5, and Q5 Premium and Premium Plus models), and Light Function Package (Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback Premium models); more features to be added at a later date
  • A revised e-tron route planner for electric vehicles that can sort public charging stations with a greater level of detail between Level 2 AC chargers and Level 3 DC fast chargers
  • Additionally, all MIB 2, MIB 2+, and MIB 3 users will be able to enjoy a revised myAudi app with easier-to-use functionality

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