Kia Motors America (KMA) will work with Google to provide content and search-based solutions enabled by Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for the second-generation of the automaker’s UVO (“Your Voice”) eServices telematics system, introduced in November 2012 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. These new solutions will initially be introduced on the new 2014 Sorento CUV.
The immediate integration of Google solutions will utilize Google Maps and Google Places to acquire driving directions and locate Points of Interest (POIs). KMA and Google say they look forward to continuing to work together to bring innovative navigation solutions to enhance the connected car experience.
The new Google-powered UVO system will serve Kia owners whether they are in their cars or away from them. Enabled by the Send2Car feature, Kia owners can send a POI or destination to their car directly from the Google Maps via a UVO app. At launch, the Apple iPhone will be the only UVO eServices-compatible device. Apple iOS6 compatibility is expected early in 2013. Additional compatible devices expected late 2013.
From within the car, Kia owners will benefit from Google Places, which will provide POI and destination resources such as a dealership location, and Google Maps, which will provide directions to virtually anywhere and everywhere a car can travel.
UVO was a breakthrough for Kia, and signaled the brand’s ambitious plans to become an in-vehicle technology leader by enabling drivers and passengers to use all of their personal technologies more safely and easily, while creating additional entertainment experiences. With smartphone penetration nearing 50% in the US, UVO eServices extends our award-winning system’s abilities far beyond the original offerings by utilizing one of the industry’s first app-based approaches for telematics. The development focus for UVO eServices was to deliver the connectivity, services and notifications valued by vehicle owners while also adding emergency assistance features, diagnostic information and innovations such as our parked vehicle locator to create user-friendly experiences that exceed people’s expectations.—Henry Bzeih, head of the connected car program and chief technology strategist, KMA
UVO continues to offer drivers hands-free mobile phone management capabilities and hands-free control of music from a variety of media sources, including CD, radio, USB, media player, and the Digital Jukebox. With UVO eServices, users will now be able to control the 2014 Sorento’s on-board navigation system through voice commands when the vehicle is outfitted with the UVO eServices/navigation package.
Also new with UVO eServices is an enhanced telematics suite that offers a number of maintenance and infotainment functions, including 911 Connect, enhanced Roadside Assist2, Automatic Diagnostics, Manual Diagnostics, Scheduled Diagnostics, vehicle maintenance, and eServices Guide, many of which are run through the owner’s Smartphone equipped with the UVO eServices app available at no charge.
Advanced Voice Recognition supports the operation of many of UVO eServices functions, including the Sorento’s voice-activated navigation system. USB connectivity allows users to download music files from a memory stick into the Digital Jukebox. The large eight-inch touch screen is easy to operate and incorporates Sorento’s rear camera display, Infinity Premium Sound System and My POIs (personal Points of Interest via online maps), a feature that makes it easy to customize the owner’s most visited locations.
Key Features of UVO eServices include:
Google Integration: Utilization of Google Maps and Google Places to provide direction and location information.
eServices Guide: Accessed via the touch-screen or voice command, eServices Guide places a phone call via Bluetooth hands free connectivity to a voice response system that explains UVO eServices to the driver in an interactive manner.
Car Care Web: Through the UVO eServices owner’s portal, known as “Car Care Web,” owners can check vehicle diagnostics, vehicle status, maintenance schedules, driving behavior, and schedule appointments with their preferred or nearby dealer via their home computer or mobile device. Owners also can earn awards for safe and eco-friendly driving viewable on Car Care Web should they rank high enough among their fellow UVO eServices owners.
My POI: Also available to UVO eServices owners is My POI, a feature that allows owners to send a destination from Google Maps through their Smartphone to their UVO eServices vehicle. The customer selects a destination from the Web via Google Maps, once the customer’s Smartphone receives the destination it will send the destination to the vehicle’s navigation system the next time the Smartphone is paired via Bluetooth wireless technology. In addition, all destinations sent from Google Maps will be copied to the owner’s Car Care Web. (My POI is only available with UVO eServices vehicles equipped with navigation).
Vehicle Diagnostics: If UVO’s eServices identifies a problem by way of the Automatic Diagnostics function, it will communicate the vehicle’s issue(s) and its location to Kia’s 24/7 call center or will schedule an appointment online with the nearest Kia dealership upon user request. With Manual Diagnostics, at the owner’s preference, UVO eServices can connect the user with Kia’s 24/7 call center or schedule an appointment online with the nearest Kia dealership, should an issue be found. Additionally, the user can take advantage of Scheduled Diagnostics from their Smartphone, setting a monthly diagnostic check of the vehicle. Upon completion, any issues found are automatically forwarded to Car Care Web.
911 Connect 8 : In case of an airbag deployment, the Crash Notification Assist function will alert emergency services. During a 10-second window, the driver has the option to cancel the call, otherwise UVO eServices will dial 9-1-1, read the vehicle's location out loud to the emergency services operator and allow the operator to speak with the vehicle occupants.
Parking Minder: If the driver happens to forget where they parked the car, the Parking Minder function helps find it by sending the location of the vehicle to the driver’s phone. If preferred, the owner also can take pictures of the surrounding area for reference, write a reminder note, email his or her location and set an alarm if the car is parked at a meter. To guide the owner back, the UVO eServices Smartphone app will display the owner and the vehicle’s locations on a map.
Following the introduction of UVO eServices in the Sorento, the system will be offered in other models in the Kia lineup, including the all-new 2014 Forte sedan.