Does BYTON’s Huge 48-Inch Display Screen Obstruct Driver’s View?

JAN 11 2019 BY TOM MOLOUGHNEY 45

Can you really see past that thing?

We’ve had quite a few posts here on BYTON since their world introduction at CES 2018. By far, the most controversial feature in BYTON’s vehicles is the giant 48″ long display screen that stretches across the entire dashboard.

In nearly every post, we get comments on how distracting the display screen will be, as well as concerns of whether or not it obstructs the driver’s view. We’ve driven in the M-Byte five or six times now, and have conveyed in previous posts that the screen auto-dims at night, and that since the content is static while driving, it doesn’t appear to present a distraction issue.

Once we’re able to take the M-Byte for a proper test drive later this year, we’ll be able to comment definitively on that.ย  Until then, we understand why those that haven’t been in the vehicle might be concerned.

You can actually see the top of the hood above the display screen. Therefore, the display doesn’t obstruct the driver’s view.

BYTON has assured us that they have spent a lot of time making sure the display will not present a distraction problem, and that while the car is in motion it will display static content that most cars today already display. For instance, all of the content on the left 1/3 of the screen, which is in front of the driver, (in most markets) will be what is normally seen by the driver, like speed, range, navigation info, state of charge, etc.

While we can’t prove that here today, we can demonstrate that the screen doesn’t physically present a line-of-sight issue, as some have claimed it would. We understand why some may think that, since most of the pictures of the dashboard are taken from a lower position than the driver’s line-of-sight, giving the allusion that the view is severely obstructed. We spoke to BYTON’s VP of Design, Benoit Jacob at CES, and he told us that they designed the display so it wouldn’t obstruct any part of the driver’s view, and that the line-of-sight angle actually exceeds what is required by regulations.

So, take a look at the pictures we took earlier this week at the BYTON booth at CES, and you can judge for yourself.

This picture is taken about 6 feet from the front of the vehicle and at about hood level.

This picture was taken from about 12″ above ground level. Even at this low point, the driver can see the camera.

This picture was taken about 8 feet from the front of the vehicle and at about 5′ off the ground, slightly lower than the roofline.

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45 Comments on "Does BYTON’s Huge 48-Inch Display Screen Obstruct Driver’s View?"

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It definetly looks like a very tall dashboard to me.

Thank you for providing these picture Tom. It does look like you can see over the dash and hood for normal driving situations depending a little I guess on the height of the driver. It might be a little difficult to parallel park and navigate a garage, but I’m assuming it has sensors and such to help with that.

I think you can definitely see objects closer to the driver in a short-hood vehicle like a sedan or something like a TM3 that doesn’t even have a dash board, but that’s an extreme example.

It looks like unless you are 5 ft tall you should be fine. It does seem a bit overkill to have such a huge screen.

A lot of people are 5′ tall.

We all have pillows, don’t we?

Seats ARE adjustable, you know.

I get the impression this mbyte is a concept car / prototype. But they say production to start in 2019. If so, Where is it going to be produced? Who is going to build it? Which markets?

Thanks for the first hand feedback Tom!

Not so much an obstruction as it is a Major Distraction, should have eyes on the road not a screen.

Not when a car is fully autonomous, which these will be soon. They are planning ahead.

Tesla has a different way of planning ahead on fully autonomous driving: Model 3 has a minimalist interface rather than wall to wall + stacked displays. Guess it depends on whether people will want to be entertained by mobile devices or if they prefer fixed screens in autonomous driving mode.

“soon”๐Ÿ˜‚

I am more concerned about it’s effects on the driver’s night vision.

It’ll presumably have a dark mode, but that’s a valid concern. Edit: Article confirms it does and it’s fine.

The screen does obstruct a couple of inches of forward view due to its height, but if the screen were the only issue a nice towel over it would resolve the distraction!
Regarding letting a car drive me, never gonna happen!

It’s not that far different from any car dashboard or infotainment system causing driver distraction, so this is hardly a problem unique to this concept. If anything, having the screen closer to the horizon line means the driver doesn’t have to avert their gaze as far from the road as they normally would. With that said, I can’t help but think this giant screen is just too tall. 3 inches less height and it’d be way better.

The article even said they didn’t find it that distracting and the content it displays is static while driving. As other comments point out, a screen like this is more in preparation for the autonomous future than anything else.

Should be no issue. Moreover they will drive themselves pretty soon I assume.

Why write, “Can you really see past that thing?” and show a perspective from someplace other than where the typical driver’s eyes would be? It certainly looks obstructive from that perspective. It almost like article is suggesting what you should choose for your answer.

My concern is with the steering wheel screen and how they make sure it doesnโ€™t wreck your face in an accident. Does it flip up to allow the airbag out?

Yuck.

Just yuck.

Will they make a sensible mini-screen version for those of us who don’t want to drive a commie dork-mobile? I think with the exception of the column mounted drive selector lever, the BMW i3 interior with the upgraded iDrive system is just about perfect for interior EV asthetics+tech. Would like to see Android auto and a more functional companion app though. Tesla interior design is a little too minimalist for my taste and I doubt their tech will ever play well with others, but that is still not (I repeat, NOT) going to stop me from getting one.

Byton is made in China and requires all my personal info including location data to be provided to China just to drive it. Promises full autonomous self driving, only Musk gets away with selling that pipe dream. Byton, I love EVs but this design is just too far out there.

You may be able to seen the hood, but the front visibility looks awful from these pictures. When I’m driving, I want the landscape view in front of me to be as tall as possible. This looks pretty squished.

I don’t want the car next to me reading at my screen.

Can a woman of about 4 foot height see road hazards like potholes clearly? If not, the screen needs to be lowered an inch or two or Byton will become a target for lawsuits in the US, because accident attorneys will claim its a design defect.

As long as seats are adjustable its on driver to adjust. Secondly since driver is required to drive only if car is in safe condition, that liability claims well be harder to pass. Driver in question would have to argue they did everything by the book and car somewhat tricked them.

Woman of 4ft cant see above most current vehicle offering dashboards, without seat cushions and getting really close to the steering wheel. I have an aunt that is under 5ft, and it is hard for her to find suitable cars.

That looks like a very narrow field of vision to me regardless of whether or not you can see the bonnet ?

Another Euro point of view

Indeed, way too distracting IMO. Since passing phone calls even with a hand free set is not allowed in my country I do not understand how this could be allowed. At least as distracting.

“Illusion” not “allusion” ๐Ÿ™‚

Definitely more choice with on the one side of the spectrum Tesla’s minimalist approach and on the other side Byton’s superbling maximalist approach.

Personally I find Byton’s approach a typical example of naive Chinese design trying to impress by going over the top. Especially the extra display in the steering wheel on top of the already huge wall to wall display makes the whole thing a bit laughable.

All of BYTONs designers are based in their German office. Many coming from BMW. This is a German designed vehicle. Manufacturing and HQ are in China but the design and engineering are mainly based in Germany and California respectively.

will it be under $40k?

So, looks like this will be the first chineses made EV from a Chinese company that will be exported to the US?

When is someone going to create a mass market EV that doesn’t have all this crazy, unnecessary tech? Just basic transportation. Think Bollinger, but in a Sedan, hatchback, and/or crossover. Screens dominate our day to day lives, and I like getting a car and not having one. Don’t yet care about autonomous drivers assistance, that is just going to break or fail or get damaged and need expensive repairs.

It doesn’t block vision in my opinion, but it looks extremely distracting.

Ridiculous!

I’ve seen a lot of old drivers staring through the steering wheel. This won’t sell in Florida.

Certainly need to redesigned.. obstructing the driver with a giant screen is a dissaster in the making..