Kia has showcased 24 concepts for future telematic and infotainment technologies at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with a focus on hands-free control systems.

The technological showcase is designed to show how telematic and infotainment systems can serve to improve both the safety and connectivity of its cars.

Kia says voice activation (UVO) telematic technology, which can be used for functions such as dictating messages, changing radio stations, or asking for directions, is the best path forward for in-car controls and entertainment. The Korean car maker has also introduced a ‘User-centred Driver’(UCD) concept for a future ‘multi-sensory’ control system, however, which it says will further improve usability and driver safety.

Kia CES-2

Kia’s UCD system uses eye-tracking technology to let drivers control various information displays without taking their hands off the wheel. Also present is hand-gesture recognition, which lets drivers use simple hand or finger movements, registered by infrared light and camera sensors, to access features such as radio and navigation without taking their eyes off the road.

Kia also debuted a new concept for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) technologies (pictured above). Adopting a multi-display layout, Kia’s infotainment concept is based around a 20-inch touchscreen centre console display, which synchronises with a driver’s own portable tablet and phone devices via in-car wifi to provide access to various services simultaneously.

One of the services is a new ‘mood-radio’, which allows drivers to create playlists reflective of their surroundings, based on five templates, including ‘summer driving on a coastal road’.

Kia Cub - 6

Kia has also revealed an in-car wireless mobile-phone charging system, which lets drivers charge their mobile by placing it on a pad which then uses magnetic induction to power the device.

While most of the technologies shown at the CES are still in the concept phase, some, such as Kia’s adaptive cruise control and surround-view monitoring systems, debuted on the recently released K900 flagship sedan.

Kia has also debuted a new ‘UVO for EV’ system, following the release of the Soul EV. The system sends information about the driver’s EV car, such as its battery-level and the locations of nearby charging stations, to a personal smartphone or tablet.

Finally, Kia has used the CES to debut its CUB compact four-door coupe concept (pictured above) to the North American market. First seen at the Seoul and Shanghai motor shows last year, the concept is essentially a design study mated to a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.




  • Phil

    Some good ideas there, voice recognition has obvious benefits and eye tracking could be useful. But does it really need to be styled like it belongs in a lego car?