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EV maker Byton reveals apps that will fill 48 inches of touchscreen real estate

Byton is about to win the automotive industry’s touchscreen war by putting a 48-inch unit in the upcoming M-Byte. That’s a lot of real estate to fill, so the Chinese company linked arms with partners from all over the broad technology spectrum to keep passengers connected on the move. It announced the first group of firms it is working with ahead of CES 2020.

Fittingly called the Stage, Byton’s 48-inch screen stretches the entire width of the dashboard, so it is in both front passengers’ lines of sight. While the driver gets information about the car and its surroundings, the passenger can watch television shows, movies, and other videos in the ViacomCBS library, via the Access Twine for Car system. This feature (which rivals Tesla’s newly-introduced Theater) embeds titles like Spongebob Squarepants and Terminator in the M-Byte’s dashboard.

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AccuWeather integration gives the crossover the ability to provide its passengers with real-time weather updates. This feature goes beyond telling you whether your beach vacation will be rained out. It also chimes in when it detects extreme weather like a blizzard or a thunderstorm on a given route, so the driver can find an alternate path.

The Voice to Actions platform developed by Aiqudo connects the passengers to an array of mobile apps via Bluetooth. If you’re a passenger, for example, you’ll be able to say “I want to watch Sonic the Hedgehog” instead of reaching across the cabin to tap the screen. Aiqudo speaks multiple languages, and it is compatible with thousands of apps.

The M-Byte will exclusively offer an electric powertrain that delivers about 250 miles of driving range. That’s enough for a short road trip, and quick-charging possibilities unlock more travel possibilities. The infotainment system will help adventurers plan their getaway thanks in part to Road Travel, a trip-planning platform used to make hotel and restaurant reservations, and find points of interest around a given destination.

Finally, Xperi will integrate its HD Radio into the M-Byte’s cockpit. It’s packed with over 2,300 individual radio stations, and over 4,000 digital audio services, so you shouldn’t run out of things to listen to.

Byton will announce additional partners in the coming months. It’s forming alliances with big, respected names in the tech world, but it’s also open to working with small, lesser-known companies and individuals. To that end, it launched a developer program at CES 2020 that encourages savvy entrepreneurs to create content for its infotainment system.

Tesla, one of the companies Byton is aiming for, proved there’s a big market for in-car gaming. The M-Byte’s uniquely generous screen dimensions make it better suited to receiving a side-scrolling Mario game than any car we’ve ever seen. Here’s to hoping a developer with a background in video games makes our dream of in-car Mario Bros. a reality.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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