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NowCar SDV Kia EV9

BEV Automakers Will Be the First to Release SDVs

Written By, Jordan R

The future of the automotive industry isn’t just electrified and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Aside from hydrogen-powered vehicles and other clean energy sources, vehicles are also going digital. Autonomous self-driving cars may be having hiccups as of late, pushing them back about a decade, but software-defined vehicles may be the next evolutionary jump for the auto industry. To capitalize on this, automakers that build and sell only electric vehicles already have the groundwork laid out for them, especially startups.

Start-Ups That Have an Edge

Lucid Motors is a worthy adversary in the world of BEVs. The Lucid Air was capable of generating 1111 horsepower, accelerating from 0-60 mph in as little as 2.5 seconds, and covering a quarter-mile time in 9.9 seconds. It is the fastest Bev on the market, and still delivers an all-electric range (AER) of 471 miles. It is a true champion among the Bev market. Lucid Motors also has a more software-inclined vehicle architecture in its vehicles. Over the last two years, the automaker issued more than 100 software updates to add more features to its consumers.

All-electric startup Rivian hasn’t mentioned any plans for SDVs, but it’s another great example of a startup that has been building and designing solely BEVs. The Rivian Rt1 electric pickup truck was quite the innovative entry for the pickup truck market, the Rivian RT1 was complete with a built-in miniature kitchen and a cozy little mechanical hut on wheels with a two-piece removable composite roof and pop-up tent. After hitting the top of the charts during the 2023 Consumer Reports Auto Survey, the success could lead to greater funding for more digital technology.

Automakers and SDVs

When it comes to the auto market, not a lot of major players have discussed SDV technology. Some automotive groups are starting to introduce connected services, and all 2024 Stellantis models come with a brand name connect service, such as Dodge Connect. Ram Connect, or Jeep Connect. Always ahead of the game, the Kia Corp replaced its infotainment system with Kia Connect back in 2021, and has released a connected service, soon to be app store for consumers to personalize their vehicles.

If any, the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) was definitely one of the first automotive groups to discuss cars that came with operating systems. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is working with Google, already phasing their infotainment system out to introduce a new Android OS SDV. Meanwhile, the HMG is investing $12.6 billion over the course of the decade to develop SDVs with Over-The-Air (OTA) software updates, a next-generation EV platform, and a Connected Car Operating System (ccOS). This project already has testing grounds with Kia, introducing SDV technology to the EV9.

As we mentioned above, Kia Connect will soon turn into a Kia Connect Store via OTA updates to offer consumers the ability to remotely purchase and install new software functions based on their needs. It will start with safety features, such as Highway Driving Pilot (HDP) (level 3 autonomy), and Remote Smart Parking Assist 2, but will eventually release more personalized features like music lighting patterns and other features. It sounds very similar to the Uconnect Market Platform Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) was working on before it merged and became Stellantis – whatever happened to it.

It wasn’t too long ago that the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show happened, and automakers were talking about mobile digital living spaces. With SDVs, that’s about to become a reality. You can learn more about SDV technology and other car tech when you follow us on NowCar social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media