UVO infotainment system gets Google Assistant for 2018

Kia joined this year’s Consumer Electronics Show to unveil the Niro EV, an almost production-ready version of its first electric crossover, but it’s also using the Las Vegas event to introduce a new feature to its UVO infotainment system. Starting 2018, certain models will have infotainment systems compatible with Google Assistant, which will enable owners to execute a variety of remote commands. Likely to extend across the entire Kia range in the future, integration with Google Assistance is available only for models equipped with the UVO system so far. The list includes the Niro PHEV, Soul EV, Optima PHEV, and the K900 flagship sedan.

Google Assistant allows drivers to interact with the car via smartphones or Google Home by using simple voice commands

Google Assistant allows drivers to interact with the car via smartphones or Google Home by using simple voice commands. According to Kia, owners can ask Google Assistant to start or lock their cars, to start and stop battery charging, the climate control system, or the horn and lights. Commands include, "Tell UVO to start my Soul EV,” or "Tell UVO to lock my Niro."

The Google Assistant can also provide real-time answers, activate streaming music services, smart home devices, and smart car and connected car technology. It will basically provide seamless connectivity directly into Kia vehicles and make vehicle ownership an easier, more modern experience. Google Assistant is available on select Android and Apple iPhone phones, smart speakers like Google Home, and select tablets.

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Press release

At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show today, Kia Motors America (KMA) announced the addition of UVO Agent for compatible Kia vehicles, which allows Kia owners to interact with the Google Assistant on their phones or Google Home to execute a variety of remote commands. The Kia integration with the Google Assistant is now available for use in the following Kia vehicles with compatible UVO hardware; the 2018 Niro PHEV, Soul EV1, Optima PHEV and K9002.

The UVO Agent can be easily set up through the Google Assistant or Google Home app. Simple voice commands are all that’s needed to control your compatible Kia model and allows the user to access a variety of functions. Commands include, "Tell UVO to start my Soul EV,” or "Tell UVO to lock my Niro." UVO Agent features include Remote Start/Stop Engine, Remote Climate Control, Remote Charge Start/Stop, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Lock3.

“Our customers inspired this latest enhancement to the Kia ownership experience,” said Henry Bzeih, director, connected car & mobility services, strategy & planning, KMA. “With more people using smart technology at home and work, it was a natural extension to bring this easy to use and widely adapted platform to the driver’s seat. With a simple voice command, Kia owners can interface with their vehicles in the same manner they use the Google Assistant in their homes.”

The Google Assistant can provide real-time answers, activate streaming music services, smart home devices, and now, smart car and connected car technology allowing for seamless connectivity directly into Kia vehicles. The Google Assistant is available on select Android4 phones, select Apple iPhone5, smart speakers like Google Home and more.

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