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New technology is always fun to learn about, and here at NowCar, we like to learn about new tech automakers are adding into their cars. It all started with remote features via the key fob, remote start and the such. Once smartphones started popping up, and the “There’s an app for that” slogan was popular, automakers slowly started hiring programmers to code their own apps while they sent engineers to work to make automobiles more computerized and able to respond to app functions. Today, vehicles are becoming smarter, even able to integrate smart speaker devices to control home features from the car. Recently, Kia America, part of Kia Corp, announced its own very new infotainment system and app to give consumers more control and stay connected.
“As Kia shifts to electrification, in-car connectivity is a core pillar of the brand…To that end, Kia Connect will deliver a world-class customer experience through an array of features that enhance vehicle connectivity, functionality, and user control.” - Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia North America and Kia America
Many names in the industry are starting to make the shift to green cars if not already. Over the next few years, many brands will be introducing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs), also known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Big names like Jeep already have a plug-in 4xe lineup with an EV on the way, Dodge shocked the world with its announcement of eMuscle, and Kia Corp is already going strong with its EV6. There are also startups quickly taking the stage, like Lucid Motors with the Lucid Air and Rivian with the RT1 electric pickup truck. However, that’s not the only step to take if automakers are to keep ahead of the competition.
Alongside green powertrains are high-tech features that can keep consumers connected to their cars, phones, and homes, from next-to-anywhere. Turn on the porch lights from your car when driving home at night via an Amazon Alexa or Google Home, start up your car on the way without finangling for your keys and phone with a simple voice command, or make sure your doors are locked or the house alarm is on with a glance at your phone. That’s the future of keeping consumers connected, and with smart devices like Alexa and Google, we’re currently on the way to smart cars with smart speaker integration. Several automakers have introduced virtual assistants or integration of current-standing devices, and Kia Corp joins the fray with Kia Connect.
Set to officially be available first in the upcoming 2023 Kia Sportage, but eventually pop up on all future Kia models via Over the Air (OTA) updates is Kia Connect. Replacing the popular and long-standing UVO infotainment system, offering UVO eServices, UVO Link, and multimedia features, Kia Connect is the new system to do it all. Just take a look at the long list of features Kia Connect offers consumers – a 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot that can pair with five devices, Connected Routing with real-time maps and predicted traffic, Last Mile Navigation that doesn’t stop at the plaza but ends at the door, Smart Speaker Integration like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, Connected Weather for updated weather information, enhanced voice assist commands, 911 Connect and Enhanced Roadside Assistance with 24/7 roadside assistance, On-demand Find My Car with Surround View Monitor, and integration of the owner’s personal calendar into the infotainment system for that extra bit of keeping phones and smart devices connected to the car. Kia Connect is also introducing new advanced safety measures, such as the newly-introduced Stolen Vehicle Recovery feature that can immobilize the vehicle and share location information to assist law enforcement in the recovery process in such an incident.
What else is Kia Corp up to? Well there is one easy way to find out. Follow us on NowCar social media for car tech updates and discussion.