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Kia's Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) Explained

Kia’s Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) Explained

Is Kia’s intelligent manual transmission a game changer or just needless technology?

Hyundai and Kia are two peas in a pod. As sister companies, they share technology, drivetrains, and platforms, among other things. So, when we broke down Hyundai’s Intelligent Manual Transmission – you know, the one with no clutch pedal – we figured Kia would be quick to follow suit. And, it has, but only to a certain extent. We’ve now learned that the mild-hybrid versions of the Kia Ceed Hatch, Xceed crossover, and the facelifted Rio will all be available with an iMT. But Kia’s version is a little different compared to Hyundai in that it still has a clutch pedal. This is getting interesting, huh?

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Kia Gives 2019 Niro Electrified Crossover Its Midlife Refresh

Kia Gives 2019 Niro Electrified Crossover Its Midlife Refresh

Revised Kia Niro coming to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

Kia reports that it has sold over 270,000 Niro crossovers since it launched the compact crossover model in 2016, and some 100,000 of those sales were to European customers. It’s the brand’s fifth-most-popular model in Europe, so that’s why it’s chosen to reveal the refreshed versions of the Niro hybrid and Niro plug-in hybrid at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, one of the most important auto shows on the Old Continent.

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Does Kia's View of the Future Correspond With What You Want From Self-Driving Cars?

Does Kia’s View of the Future Correspond With What You Want From Self-Driving Cars?

Mood-reading robots and electric four-wheeled cycles are just a few highlights from the Kia booth at CES

The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show has now officially reached full chat, and many of the major automakers are there to show off their latest and greatest gadgets and concepts. Kia is among them, arriving in Vegas to debut its vision for an autonomous, intelligent, highly connected transportation system that can understand your moods and adapt itself accordingly.

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Kia Interactive Cockpit at CES Shows Off Suite of New Technologies

Kia Interactive Cockpit at CES Shows Off Suite of New Technologies

A new HMI system, Separate Sound Control System, and the world’s first in-car 5G connection are all on the menu

The Kia Niro EV Concept made its debut at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. As ground-breaking as the concept was, the Niro EV also played host to Kia’s suite of new interactive cockpits that point directly to the company’s “Beyond Autonomous Driving vision. The cockpits feature plenty of new technologies, including a new HMI tech, Separate Sound Control System, and the world’s first in-car 5G connection.

The cockpit concepts are more than just novelty items; they’re previews to a future that Kia is pursuing. The first of these two cockpits features the Niro EV Concept’s new HMI system. This new system takes human interaction with the car’s infotainment center to a new level, including the ability to control the infotainment system and HVAC through by touch and gesture. Different gestures denote different commands; these commands range anywhere from switching music tracks, adjusting the sound system’s volume, and changing cabin ventilation settings. Even the steering wheel is in on the advancements, specifically the perforated leather area on its base that drivers can swipe to unlock different commands. The cockpit also has face and voice recognition technology, a development that came to life thanks to Kia’s collaboration with Amazon Web Services. This partnership unlocks the latter’s “Rekognition” and “Polly” software in the car.

The second of these two cockpits is no less groundbreaking than the first. If being the first at anything still counts in this industry, Kia can puff its chest knowing that its cockpit concept carries the world’s first in-vehicle 5G connection. As fast as 4G connection is, 5G connection is the future. Streaming content into the car should be faster and easier if the Korean automaker can leverage this concept application into something real and tangible. At the very least, watching content while running on 5G connection will be more of a spectacle with the cockpit’s other ground-breaking development, the Separate Sound Control System. In so many words, this tech creates two sound zones in the car, one in the two front seats and another in the rear seats, without one intruding on the other. Eight speakers are installed in the headrests, and the addition of noise-canceling technology helps mute the sound coming from the other seats, allowing a specific occupant, whether it’s the driver or the passenger, to enjoy his brand of music or podcast on his own.

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Kia Bringing WiBLE Car-Sharing Service to Europe in 2018

Kia Bringing WiBLE Car-Sharing Service to Europe in 2018

You’ll now get a chance to take Kia’s models for a drive without having to own any of them

Kia’s new “ACE” strategy may have dominated the headlines at the Consumer Electronics Show, but that’s not the only major news to come out of the Korean automaker. Alongside the ACE initiative, Kia also announced plans to roll out its “WiBLE car-sharing service in Europe later this year. The service itself isn’t entirely new — it’s already operational in South Korea — but its expansion into some of Europe’s biggest cities is a sign that the service is ready for a more global reach.

The WiBLE car-sharing service is as it’s described. It’s going to be set up in city centers where Kia vehicles will be provided to customers who need to drive a car but may not necessarily own one. In the same breath, the service also helps those who want more convenient cars to take them to-and-from different locations. The soon-to-be-launched WiBLE operation in Europe is expected to follow a similar template to the one it’s already running in its home market. A variety of Kia models will be made available to customers, including the Soul EV and the Niro hybrid crossover. The automaker’s lineup of crossovers and SUVs are also expected to be included in the car-sharing service.

Once operational, the car-sharing service can be accessed via a smartphone app, similar to how other car- and ride-sharing services like Uber, Grab, and Lyft operate. Users will have to pay for individual journeys where they’ll be charged depending on the amount of time they spend using the car. The service also allows users to use the cars on one-way drives. In some ways, Kia’s WiBle service is not entirely different from Volvo’s Sunfleet service, which is already operational in international markets. Other automakers that have launched similar car-share services include General Motors’ Maven, BMW’s ReachNow, and Mercedes-Benz’s Croove.

Kia hasn’t announced which European cities will get first dibs on the WiBLE car-sharing service. An announcement is expected to come sometime this year.

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Kia Aims to Offer Connected Cars in All Segments; Promises 16 New Electrified Vehicles by 2025

Kia Aims to Offer Connected Cars in All Segments; Promises 16 New Electrified Vehicles by 2025

It’s all systems go for Kia’s plans for the next decade

Kia has officially revealed its entire connectivity strategy at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. The strategy, called “ACE,” aims to put a strong focus on autonomous vehicle technology, connectivity, and eco/electric platforms, hence the acronym “ACE.” These pursuits will coincide with the company’s other plan of introducing an entire model range of connected cars by the year 2030, and at least 16 electric cars by the year 2025.

A big part of that multi-level strategy rests on how Kia is able to accelerate its development in the areas it mentioned. In terms of autonomous vehicle, the plan is to roll out self-driving cars that feature level 4 autonomy by 2021. This goal goes hand-in-hand with plans to induce “Smart City” autonomous vehicle testing, which Kia also hopes to roll out by 2021.

In terms of connected services, the company’s goal is to have its entire model range adopt the technology by 2030. There’s a longer 12-year timetable to achieve that vision, and it successful, we’re going to see each Kia model become a highly connected car by the time 2030 rolls around. When that time comes, Kia also hopes to have all of its cars carrying eco/electric powertrains. That includes hybrids, EVs, and even fuel-cell EVs.

Kia’s plan to push for these technologies comes at a time when just about every automaker is doing the same thing. Dr. Woong-chul Yang, Vice Chairman and Head of the Kia R&D Center, says it’s become imperative for Kia to go all-in with the development of these technologies. "Virtual reality, self-driving cars, and ‘vehicle-to-everything’ connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future," he said. "As they rapidly become a reality, Kia is exploring how to deploy these new technologies for its customers. Our strategy and vision for future mobility (are) demonstrated by a range of interactive displays, showing what our customers can look forward to."

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You Can Now Ask Google to Start Your Kia Using Your Phone

You Can Now Ask Google to Start Your Kia Using Your Phone

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.

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Kia Reveals Eight-Speed Transmission for FWD Cars

Kia Reveals Eight-Speed Transmission for FWD Cars

It will debut in the 2017 Cadenza

Kia’s recent advancements in the auto business have included not just more refined vehicles, but new technologies too. After four years of hard work, the South Korean automaker has unveiled its very own eight-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive cars. Developed using the experience it gained during the creation of the eight-cog unit for rear-wheel drive vehicles, the new gearbox is ready to hit the road and will do so in the 2017 Cadenza.

To be offered as a no-cost option with the 3.3-liter V-6 engine, the transmission will soon find its way into other front-wheel-drive Kia models in the future, but the company has yet to nominate them.

About the same size as a conventional six-speed automatic, the new eight-speed is said to be 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds) lighter than its old counterpart. The unit also features the smallest oil pump in any gearbox in its class, and an incorporated direct control valve body and increased capacity of the solenoid valves, thus reducing the number of control valves from 20 to 12. All of the above, paired with the additional clutch compared to the previous six-speed auto, improve fuel efficiency and gear shifting. The latter will also deliver faster acceleration.

In all, Kia patented 143 new technologies for this transmission, which is surprisingly compact, meaning it will fit in a wide range of vehicles. For now, the eight-speed is being prepared for the company’s

mid

and full-size passenger cars.

Keep reading for the full story.

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