Kia has recently shifted their focus into autonomous vehicle research. The automaker aims to introduce partially autonomous technologies by 2020, and hopefully push to market a fully autonomous vehicle by 2030.
Today, Kia launched it’s new sub-brand ‘DRIVE WISE’. The brand will encompass all future Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and will focus on bringing cutting edge features to future models.
According to the company, the more advanced technologies under development by Kia provide the driver with greater levels of assistance, anticipating and reacting to changing road conditions and potential hazards to improve safety for all road users. By helping to eliminate many of the inherent dangers, stresses and hassles of driving on today’s congested roads, DRIVE WISE will enable owners to focus more on the pleasures of driving.
Kia’s future DRIVE WISE technologies on display at CES 2016 include Highway Autonomous Driving, Urban Autonomous Driving, Preceding Vehicle Following, Emergency Stop System, Traffic Jam Assist and a new Autonomous Parking & Out function:
- Highway Autonomous Driving (HAD) employs a combination of radar and camera detection systems to interpret lane markings, allowing the car to stay in its lane or switch into others to overtake other vehicles or follow a different road; all without driver input.
- Urban Autonomous Driving (UAD) applies GPS and sensors to identify the car’s position on the road, allowing it to safely navigate through densely-congested city environments while responding to live traffic updates.
- Preceding Vehicle Following (PVF) is an enhanced lane-keeping system which monitors the vehicle in front and allows the car to calculate its own path relative to it, following at a safe distance if road markings are indecipherable due to poor conditions or road layout.
- Emergency Stop System (ESS) operates in correlation with Kia’s Driver Status Monitoring (DSM) system, to analyse the driver’s face, ensuring their attention does not stray from the road for too long. If it detects that the driver takes their eyes from the road for too long, ESS can automatically direct the car into an appropriate side lane and come to a halt.
- Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) monitors the vehicle in front during congested traffic conditions, maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front and moving into appropriate spaces to gain ground.
- Autonomous Valet Parking allows drivers to exit the car and let the vehicle park itself remotely, activated using the smart key or a smartwatch.
DRIVE WISE technologies are primarily designed to make driving safer and easier for Kia customers by identifying hazards at the earliest possible opportunity and allowing the driver – or the car – to take appropriate action, though drivers can circumvent them with direct control, enabling closer control of the car as desired.
Kia has already invested $2 billion in research, in order to fast-track the development of DRIVE WISE. Preliminary testing of prototypes will begin in the US state of Nevada where Kia has been granted a permit to test on public roads. The company’s all-electric Soul EV will be used as a test bed for the next-gen system.