While at Pebble Beach, Byton founder Daniel Kirchert told Tech Crunch that the company will complete 100 pre-production prototypes of the M-Byte at its factory in Nanjing by the end of 2018. Ten of them will be shipped to America, where they will be fitted with Level 4 self-driving technology developed by Aurora. The first M-Byte vehicles will be Level 2 capable — equivalent to the current Tesla Autopilot system. But with Aurora’s input, Level 3 and later Level 4 functionality is planned.
Aurora was founded by several autonomous vehicle superstars. Sterling Anderson was in charge of the Autopilot team at Tesla as well as chief program manager for the Tesla Model X. Chris Urmson headed the self-driving car program at Google from the early days when attempting to win the DARPA competition until Google became Alphabet and the autonomous program morphed into Waymo. Drew Bagnell is an associate professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, repository of some of the brightest robotics and autonomous car engineers in the world.