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Back when we covered the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, there was a lot of cool technology going around the floor. All of it consumer-based, and some automakers even showed off the technology they’re introducing, or hoping to introduce, in future vehicles. A lot of it also had to do with connecting consumers to their home or automobile through their phone. With alternative fuel options on the rise and many automakers introducing electric or battery-operated vehicles, automakers like Kia Motors are looking at more ways to change the game. Connecting one’s phone to their car is nothing new, that’s how we stream music via Bluetooth. Kia Motors is developing technology that lets the phone change the settings of the car.
Well that definitely gets our attention. Here at NowCar, we’re all about letting consumers customize their vehicle when they shop for a car online. Last month, April 2019, in conjunction with Hyundai, seeing as how Kia Motors is a part of the Hyundai Motor Group, the automaker revealed a new smartphone app that will be coming to future fully electric cars. It’s an app that will give consumers the ability to customize and personalize their vehicle on a completely different level than what consumers can do today to personalize a gasoline-powered vehicle. Most of the time, modifications can void a warranty or hurt the resale value of a vehicle.
Electric vehicles are starting to look like computers on wheels, because with an app, a consumer can control things like adjusting levels of brake regeneration, switching between different drive modes, or checking on battery life and charge. This new app, currently unnamed, pairs itself with an electric vehicle and then taps into the computer controlling everything. Almost like a hack, but we would assume the owner needs to allow the app access to customize settings. The Hyundai Motor Group has assured that customized vehicle settings can be saved and downloaded via a server using blockchain encryption. Once connected, the driver can customize a number of performance characteristics, such as maximum torque output of the motor, regenerative braking capability, maximum speed, and acceleration and deceleration behavior.
Convenient, this new app can also monitor a driver’s driving behavior and let the driver know the best way to conserve energy when the remaining distance on a charge gets low, like when running out of gas on modern gasoline-powered vehicles. For poor road conditions, the app will offer drivers recommended settings based on the roads and present driving conditions. Now here’s where it gets interesting. Say one consumer is driving an EV, like the Kia Soul EV, and their friend has another compatible electric vehicle. Once the driver pairs their phone with their friend’s vehicle, it will automatically grab the profile from their smartphone, transferring their customized vehicle settings from car-to-car. The same technology also allows drivers to try out the custom settings of other users without altering their own. Maybe there’s a save function?
With electric vehicles offering this level of customization and control, it’s only a matter of time before they’re running the auto market. Find yours when you shop for a car online with NowCar.