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Autonomous Vehicles Byton Concept electric SUV

Published on June 28th, 2018 | by Nicolas Zart


Byton Promises Electric SUV With L4 Autonomous Driving By 2021

June 28th, 2018 by  

Byton here, Byton there — with all the announcements, you would think the company is serious and actively pursuing its electric SUV. And we couldn’t be happier hearing that after Byton secured a healthy $500 million Series B funding round last week, it is now planning an electric SUV for 2021.

Byton Promises Electric SUV By 2021

Byton Concept electric SUV Byton electric SUV

One thing that does trouble us is that we mostly hear promises these days about future projections. As much as we welcome occasional enthusiastic predictions from carmakers, we can’t help but wonder how many of these predictions will be on point and how many will miss the mark or simply disappear.

Startups have shaken the industry and old guard carmakers are licking their wounds while wrapping their heads around how they will compete with smaller entities that won the heart race. In the world of startups, the spectrum runs wide, from traditional startups to companies that shouldn’t be called as such anymore. Byton is a Chinese company but chose to create an international image in order to distance itself from any stigma. In essence, Byton wants you to know that is not a Chinese car company, nor American, nor European, and not even Asian for that matter. It is an international car company — that’s it.

byton future predictions

The electric SUV Byton says will be available by 2021 was originally shown at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. Byton impressed with its generous inside display that stretched almost from door to door. It showcased various autonomous features there as well. The K-Byte, the official name of Byton’s first EV, will be based on the initial concept it presented at the show and it’s said that it will be capable of Level 4 autonomous driving (based on SAE standards).

Can Anyone Make Good On Future Electric & Autonomous Promises?

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If Byton is a company that under-promises and over-delivers, then this is truly good news. We hope the same for Faraday Future, Lucid, and everyone. But if Byton fails to deliver, this will be another black eye in the face of the industry that has so far promised a lot and still struggles to take off. How many startups have failed in the past decade and how many have succeeded?

At this stage of the game, we wonder if it is still too early to predict production numbers. Add to this that the past decade has been filled with overblown numbers, over-enthusiastic pitches, and downright puzzling behaviors of some companies. Sadly, most of the news that comes out of Germany when it comes to EVs concerns years into the future. Today’s actual products offer slim pickings — small batteries with little range, few all-electric models, and lagging competitiveness. From all parties, we need a balance of reality and futuristic hope.

So far, we know Byton has surrounded itself with the right workforce and has big ambitions. It has promised an autonomous L4 car that is supposed to be available in three years. At this point, no automaker has done better than L3. We hope we will have L3 autonomous EVs in three years, but either this is a bold statement backed by serious R&D or it will be drowned in a see of overly optimistic predictions.

We hope Byton meets those numbers. We look forward to current positive news from it and other startups in the industry, though — not just rosy projections about the future. 


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About the Author

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. His communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"

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