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Kia Debuts Next-Generation Technology at 2014 Consumer Electronics Show

By: Jeff Youngs, 1/9/2014
Automakers are increasingly using the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to debut their latest in-vehicle technologies, and this year Kia made several announcements about its UVO (Your Voice) infotainment systems as well as other technology that the company is working on for the future.

Next-Generation UVO Technology
In advance of the arrival of the Kia Soul EV, the automaker announced a new UVO EV smartphone app that provides remote access to battery level status and available driving range, as well as the ability to program charging times and to pre-condition the interior with heat or air conditioning while the vehicle is still hooked up to the electrical grid. The app also helps Soul EV drivers to find nearby charging stations when the battery is running low.

Kia also previewed its next-generation UVO VR (Voice Recognition) system, planned for 2015 models. Also coming in 2015 is iHeartRadio, Yelp, SoundHound, and other new apps.

User-Centered Driver (UCD) Concept
Kia's stated approach to technology is to keep the driver's eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. "Kia's teams are constantly looking for new and better ways to strengthen the relationship between driver and car. Our real-world approach to in-car technology, coupled with compelling design and premium amenities, has the Kia brand moving in new and exciting directions," said Henry Bzeih, chief technology strategist, Kia Motors America.

At the 2014 CES, Kia introduced the User-centered Driver (UCD) concept, which includes an 18-inch head-up display and hand-gesture-recognition technology employing infrared light and camera sensors that allow the driver to access and control infotainment systems without looking away from the road. Complementing the UCD is a new 12.3-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) gauge display with 3-D imagery and eye-tracking technology to provide a clear view of data from different angles.

In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) Concept
The In-vehicle Infotainment (IVI) concept is a 20-inch multi-touch center console display with tablet and smartphone connectivity offering features such as concierge services, social networking access, park assist, and more. Magnetic induction provides wireless charging of mobile devices, and HD wireless (WiHD) technology provides three entertainment zones within the vehicle that allows different people to enjoy and use different infotainment features.

Smart Radio is offered through Kia's proprietary music service, allowing the vehicle's owner to customize playlists or choose a music profile matched to the type of driving style. The IVI concept also delivers visual and auditory warnings associated with drive-route hazards, the lane-departure warning system, and the collision-warning system.

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