Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley 9 months ago 35
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Byton Is The EV Startup That Sells 'Smart Devices', Not Cars

It seems like we've reached the point where calling what is very obviously a car, 'a car', isn't fashionable anymore, so Chinese startup Byton is here to sell you a 'smart device'

Remind me later
Smart - Byton Is The EV Startup That Sells 'Smart Devices', Not Cars - News

It’s happened (already): a car company has described its new electric vehicle as a ‘smart device’ instead of, oh, we don’t know, ‘a car.’

This pointless gentrification of the automobile is also deeply ironic given its origins among the upper classes. Chinese startup Byton is the culprit. Led by former BMW i Division chief Carsten Breitfield, Byton already owns facilities in Nanjing, Munich and Santa Clara, California, despite never having sold a vehicle or even launched to the public yet.

Smart - Byton Is The EV Startup That Sells 'Smart Devices', Not Cars - News

Ah, but of course, these aren’t mere vehicles. They’re smart devices. Cold, soulless white goods that can somehow miraculously make your life better. In the teaser images that have emerged, we can see a massive widescreen display dominating the dashboard and another, tablet-style screen in the middle of the steering wheel. Because of course there is. What could be safer?

Byton’s car will recognise your face, know your voice (until you get a cold) and understand hand gestures. It will have 5G connectivity and, you guessed it, it will be able to drive itself.

Smart - Byton Is The EV Startup That Sells 'Smart Devices', Not Cars - News

The plans indicate a target range of over 300 miles per charge. Charging speed has been cryptically – and slightly misleadingly – described as giving you ‘a week’s worth of power in the time it takes you to enjoy a cup of coffee.’

What if you’re a fast drinker? A particularly slow drinker? How many miles is a week’s worth? Is the mystery average mileage Byton has used for these sums actually representative? Deliberate vagueness does a car company no favours. We hope for better from it when the brand launches at CES next week.

Source: Auto Express