Kia aims to commercialize Level 4 autonomous vehicles in smart cities by 2021 as part of making its full model range to be connected cars by 2030
Kia Motors has presented its futuristic concepts and innovations at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas under its ‘Boundless for all’ vision. The Korean brand has been demonstrating a range of new technologies as part of its new ‘ACE’ strategy for upcoming autonomous, connected and eco cars.
As part of the strategy, Kia plans to commercialise Level 4 autonomous driving technology with ‘Smart City’ autonomous vehicle testing by 2021. By the middle of next decade, it will adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment and aims to make every model a connected car by 2030. As many as 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025 including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles as well as an all-new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020 are in the pipeline.
Besides these techs, Kia has heralded its plans to roll out ‘WiBLE’ car-sharing service – which was launched in Korea last year – in new regions from 2018 beginning with Europe (locations for launch to be announced later this year). Visitors at CES are allowed to interact with Kia’s developing autonomous drive technologies through a VR simulator while experiencing a V2X diorama demonstrating how cars could connect with urban environment and other vehicles.
It also focuses on operating a large-scale test fleet for autonomous technology on public roads from 2019 ahead of commercializing Level 4 autonomous tech in smart cities from 2021 with a new Smart City pilot project. The main highlight for Kia at 2018 CES is the Niro EV Concept which combines a modern compact SUV with battery-electric powertrain and we learned enough about it in a previous post linked below.
Kia also exhibited its latest HMI technologies, autonomous drive features and the world’s first in-car 5G connection. They hint at innovations that could be adapted for use in future vehicles and are demonstrated through a set of interactive cockpit-style experiences. The HMI cockpit lets users experiment with new in-car technologies while a second cockpit demonstrates the world’s first in-vehicle 5G connection with a real-time connection established between Las Vegas and Seoul, Korea.
It also presents the Niro EV Concept’s Separate Sound Control System, allowing users in the front and rear rows to experience Kia’s sound separation technology. It allows front and rear passengers to listen to their own music at the same time without intruding on others in the car interestingly.