Kia presented its EV concept ‘Niro’ at the Consumer Electronic Show 2018 which is on-going in Las Vegas. Kia will introduce 16 new vehicles by 2025 and these vehicles will be hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery EVs and Fuel Cell Electric vehicles. It also has plans to launch one FCEV by 2020 internationally. The carmaker has adopted a new strategy ‘ACE’ (autonomous, connected and eco/electric vehicles) with a vision of ‘Boundless for all’ that will define its take on future of mobility globally.
The Niro EV concept is a product of Kia’s design studio in Korea, takes styling cues from the existing Niro SUV. It has a sleek appearance that has simple styling with the front grille now serving another purpose – an interactive display panel. The Y design is carried on with the styling of alloys and the LEDs in the front bumper. The SUV comes with a claimed range of a little over 380km and is powered by a 64kWh Li-ion battery pack that is coupled to a 150kW electric motor.
The interiors are clean and refreshing. It gets a two spoke flat bottomed steering wheel, 5G connectivity and a centre touchscreen infotainment console. The SUV concept has facial and voice recognition technology that was developed with Amazon Web services that allows the drivers to ‘log in’ to the car. It also features separate sound control system that uses Kia’s sound separation technology, where users can listen to their individual music tracks. This is done by creating two sound zones in the car and using noise cancellation technology that mutes sound from other seats. This allows passengers to listen to their separate music without being disturbed or interrupted by other passenger’s music tracks. Sounds befuddling doesn’t it?
The Human Machine Interface creates boosts the interaction experience of the vehicle and the passenger. The pedestrian warning system uses object recognition technology to warn the driver of any oncoming objects that cross the path of the car. It also features HVAC (heat, ventilation and air conditioning) that uses gesture and touch, where the driver can swipe on the base of the steering wheel to adjust volume, change music and adjust ventilation settings.
By 2030, Kia also aims to make all its vehicles connected and introduce level 4 autonomous vehicles in smart cities by 2021. It will also introduce its ride sharing platform starting with Europe called ‘WiBLE’ (widely accessible) later this year.