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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The redesigned 2021 Nissan Rogue includes the technology.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan continues to roll out its Rear Door Alert (RDA) technology across its lineup. An announcement this week by the company confirmed that the alert is now available on 12 vehicles. It is expected to be available on all four-door trucks, sedans, and SUVs by 2022. That date is important as it marks the completion of a series of product rollouts the company has planned.

For model year 2020, RDA is standard on the Nissan Altima, Armada, Kicks (SV and SR), LEAF, Murano, Maxima, Pathfinder, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Sentra, TITAN (King Cab and Crew Cab) and Versa (SV and SR).

2020 Nissan rear door alert Drivers can temporarily or permanently disable the alerts in Nissan vehicles.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Rear Door Alert was developed by a pair of Nissan engineers and first installed in the 2018 Pathfinder. RDA was the industry's first system to use the horn, door sensors, and message display on the center instrument panel, to remind drivers to check the back seat after the vehicle is parked.

In Nissan vehicles, RDA works by monitoring when a rear door is open and closed before and after the vehicle is in motion. If a rear door was opened and shut before the vehicle is in motion. Once the vehicle is in park, the system will first display a notification in the instrument panel. If the driver exits the vehicle and does not open a rear door, the system progresses to distinctive chirps of the horn.

Drivers can configure and temporarily or permanently turn off RDA though a menu in the instrument cluster display or through separate RDA switch, depending on the model.

Last year, Nissan joined other vehicle manufacturers in a pledge to have a rear seat reminder feature in essentially all cars and trucks by model year 2025 or sooner. The approach that each automaker takes may be different.

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The new Lotus Digital Instrument Pack is perfect for a track day.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Life at the track in your Lotus is getting easier thanks to the company's new Digital Instrument Pack. The digital dashboard features integrated GPS technology and lap performance indicators allowing drivers to measure, display, and record data.

The system is designed for Lotus Elise and V6 Exige models that were built from 2008 to today.

It comes loaded with the details of 4,127 race tracks worldwide and, using GPS technology, automatically recognizes when a driver is near a track. Drivers are able to download start/finish line co-ordinates so they can calculate lap times, then analyze their performance in real time on the digital display or later by downloading data to a laptop.

Lotus Digital Instrument Pack

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The system's branded start-up imagery appears on the display of the high-contrast six-inch TFT screen. The pack features a camera input that allows drivers to add a portable action camera that would capture the action from each lap.

Chris Hinks, Aftersales Director, Lotus, said the Digital Instrument Pack is designed for drivers who want to take their Lotus track day experience to the next level, "We know our customers appreciate the motorsport heritage of Lotus cars and love to use their own vehicles on track days. Integrating a Digital Instrument Pack into an Elise or Exige is only going to enhance that experience."

The pack fits into the Elise or Exige dashboard, seamlessly. It replaces the original factory instrumentation.

Lotus is making the pack available in all markets where the two cars are sold. In the U.K., the pack is priced at £1,470 including VAT and a fitting service is available at an extra cost. When fitted by a Lotus retailer the pack is covered by a two-year warranty. Prices in other markets will vary.

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