Kia UVO

Kia's UVO has been rolled out to generally appreciative audiences, the head-unit system combining with your smartphone to provide a wide range of voice-command operation. Kia boffins have returned to the lab, though, to develop a second-gen UVO interface that doesn't require your phone to be fully functional.

Sounding like an extension of Windows Phone 7 (UVO uses Windows software as a base), Ward's Auto described its preview of UVO's next-gen as featuring "a screen that, like a tablet computer, lets the user choose from a series of icons and change screens by swiping a fingertip." The system will be fully voice controlled, and will able to download applications. A Kia rep said that UVO could access the information on a paired phone, but the smartphone connection would be optional.

The next generation is meant to be viable for all of Kia's international markets, whereas this first generation was developed specifically for the United States. From this initial report it sounds like it will provide a more comprehensive experience, which is good for everyone – but we wonder if it will still force you to choose between UVO and in-dash nav.