EV startup Byton announces partnerships with ViacomCBS, Accuweather to bring content to its cars
On the eve of CES 2020, Byton reveals the first seven partners that will populate the M-Byte electric crossover's massive 48-inch screen with content and services.
Antuan GoodwinReviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
ExpertiseReviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainmentCredentials
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With its M-Byte electric crossover set to launch later this year with an ultrawide 48-inch display stretching pillar-to-pillar across its dashboard, EV startup Byton turns its attention to the things that will fill that big ol' screen. The automaker has announced a series of partnerships with ViacomCBS, Accuweather, Aiqudo and others to bring their content and services on the road. (Editors' note: Roadshow is owned by ViacomCBS.)
ViacomCBS' content will reach the "Byton Stage" via the Access Twine vehicle content delivery platform -- another partnership announced today -- filling the M-Byte's massive 48-inch screen with video. Byton's release specifies that this experience will "make spending time … between journeys every bit as engaging as time spent on the road," leading me to believe (and hope) that access to video content will be restricted to times when the EV is parked, such as when using the free Electrify America DC fast charging. At 30 minutes for a 150-mile recharge, having something to watch while you wait sounds handy.
Watch this: Byton bringing ViacomCBS, Garmin and more to the dashboard
Byton also announced five more partner companies at its pre-CES 2020 event, this even. Newly forged partnerships with Accuweather and Road.Travel will bring real-time, local weather forecasting, as well as online trip booking and travel planning to the M-Byte's dashboard. A connection to the Aiqudo Voice to Action platform allows voice commands in the vehicle and integration with mobile apps on your phone. Meanwhile, onboard and cloud-connected natural language recognition are enhanced by a team up with CloudCar. Finally, the announced XPERI partnership nets Byton vehicles Digital HD Radio and DTS Connected Radio terrestrial broadcasts.
The hookup streak probably won't stop there. The automaker also announced the Byton Developer Program, publishing UX design documentation and app development guidelines to help more third-party devs to bring their apps and services to Byton's vehicles.
It looks like when the M-Byte hits the road in China later this year followed by North America and European launches in 2021, it will be packing some serious tech in its dashboard. And it'll still be facing pretty stiff competition. Byton's biggest potential competitor, Tesla, has already experimented with offering streaming media -- with heavyweights like Netflix and Spotify along for the ride -- and even video games in its latest dashboard software.