Chinese start-up company Byton has unveiled a concept SUV that is fully electric, and has support for Level Four autonomous driving, at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Described as ‘almost production ready’, the Byton Concept is due to enter production in 2019 and be priced around US$45,000 (RM179,538).

The Byton Concept is claimed to have a range starting from 397 km up to 517 km, and there will be two powertrain options; a single electric motor sending 268 bhp/400 Nm to the rear axle, or an all-wheel drive version with 469 bhp and 710 Nm of torque. Electricity is stored in modular lithium-ion batteries which form part of the vehicle’s chassis.

Byton says the Concept SUV will feature a host of driver assistance systems in order for it to attain Level Four autonomous driving, including cameras, ultrasonic sensors, radar and laser scanners. The pure EV SUV has been designed to accommodate the upgrading of componentry as technology develops, and the system’s architecture has been designed for 5G mobile data connectivity up of to 10 GB per second.

No kerb weight figure is quoted, however the Byton Concept measures 4,850 mm long, 1,940 mm wide and 1,650 mm tall according to Autocar. Rolling stock is a set of 22-inch wheels, while in true modern concept form the rear-view mirrors have given way to cameras feeding video to in-cabin screens.

Of which, the largest and most imposing is the 1,250 mm-wide, 250 mm-tall ‘Shared Experience Display’ which is made of three panels forming the full width of the dashboard. Like most modern mobile devices, its brightness and background colour adjust automatically to suit ambient light conditions.

The extra, extra large screen features voice and gesture control, in addition to control via a smartphone app. A pair of displays for the rear passengers feature similar controls. Meanwhile, main driver information is displayed on an eight-inch Driver Tablet which has been integrated into the Byton concept’s steering wheel. Buttons for drive selectors, indicators and infotainment volume are located on the display’s edges.

Personalisation takes a cue from consumer electronics, and each seat will have a facial recognition camera which will identify the user in place and enable personalised settings to be transferred to any seat. The front seats, incidentally, have the scope to swivel by 12 degrees.

Following the Concept SUV’s slated production start in 2019, it will be followed by a sedan and an MPV based on the same platform, according to Byton president and co-founder Daniel Kirchert.