If you’re planning to buy a Kia this year, you don’t have to worry about getting lost, as the car manufacturer has partnered with Google to ensure that you’ll always find your way on the road. The latest version of Kia’s UVO infotainment system will be powered by Google Maps and Google Places.
UVO is an integrated app-based telematics system that offers drivers a wide range of nifty features — from hands-free mobile phone connectivity and hands-free control of music from various media sources (CD, radio, USB, and media player), to an on-board navigation system.
With Google taking over the spot that was once held by Microsoft, the system will use Google Maps and Google Places to give you driving directions, as well as locating Points of Interests. Coupled with the UVO Android app, which will be released in Q2 2013, owners of the car can also beam a POI or destination from their phone to the car’s UVO system thanks to the Send2Car feature.
Other features of the system include 911 Connect, enhanced Roadside Assist, Car Diagnostics (automatic, manual and scheduled), Parking Minder, vehicle maintenance, and more – most of which can be accessed on the app.
The Google-powered UVO system will make its debut in the new Kia Sorento, Kia Forte, and other 2014 models.
Kia Motors Announces Google Maps Integration to Enhance In-Car Connectivity
UVO Advances Kia’s Infotainment and Telematics with the Utilization of Google Solutions
– UVO eServices with Google functionality will debut in the new 2014 Kia Sorento, expected to go on sale during Q1 of 2013
– Map and POI destinations to be sent to the navigation system through Web and mobile
Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced it 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 innovative UVO eServices telematics system. 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) in a seamless and organic manner. KMA and Google look forward to continuing to work together to bring innovative navigation solutions to enhance the connected car experience.
Available with the 2014 Sorento CUV, 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 their Smartphone1 UVO app. 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.
“The newest iteration of the UVO platform is a breakthrough as one of the industry’s first mobile pure app-based telematics systems, and now with the Google solutions and APIs, we take the platform to yet another level of enhancement for the Kia customer,” said Henry Bzeih , head of the connected car program and chief technology strategist, KMA. “Due to the popularity and ease-of-use of Google Maps, owners can remain confident in the technology and information being delivered to them.”
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 charge3.
Advanced Voice Recognition makes it simple to operate 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 display4, Infinity®5 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. UVO eServices is compatible with iPhone®6 at launch and Android® phones are expected to be compatible in the second quarter of 2013.
Key Features of UVO eServices:
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 connectivity7 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. In the convenience of their home or office, 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 Connect8: 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.