Kia promises to have a fully autonomous vehicle on sale by 2030, and the South Korean automaker will provide an early preview at that next-gen tech by launching the Drive Wise sub-brand at the Consumer Electronics Show. The new branding will encompass all of the company's advanced driver assistance systems and innovations in the human-machine interface over the next 15 years.

Before Kia's fully driverless vehicle hits the street, the company thinks that partially autonomous Drive Wise technology could be ready by 2020. These early steps are largely what the company has on display at CES. Tech like Highway Autonomous Driving and Urban Autonomous Driving use sensors and GPS to allow a model to control itself. An Emergency Stop System can automatically get the car off the road if there's a problem, and an electronic valet would even allow a vehicle to park without a driver inside.

Kia took a major step toward its autonomous future in December 2015 when it received permission from Nevada to test driverless tech on public roads there with a Soul EV (pictured above). The company and Hyundai have also pledged $2 billion in research through 2018 to help bring these advanced systems into production.

Kia also folds future in-vehicle tech under the Drive Wise branding, and its I-Cockpit concept shows some of these solutions off at CES. This demonstrator of a next-gen vehicle cabin supports gesture controls and can detect an owner's fingerprint to adapt the interior to the person's preferred music and climate settings.

Autonomous tech is one of the hottest parts of the auto industry right now, and a host of companies are ready to challenge Kia's coming innovations. For example, General Motors plans to test a network of driverless vehicles with ridesharing service Lyft, and Ford and Google might form a similar partnership. BMW also could show of a concept with a nearly production-ready solution early in 2016.
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Kia Motors introduces new 'DRIVE WISE' sub-brand for autonomous driving technologies

- Kia 'DRIVE WISE' encompasses future Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

- DRIVE WISE intelligent safety technologies exhibited at 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

- U.S. state of Nevada grants license to Kia to test autonomous Kia Soul EV on public roads

- Introduction of partially-autonomous driving technologies by 2020, with arrival of fully-autonomous vehicles targeted by 2030

(SEOUL) January 6, 2015 – Kia Motors has today introduced the launch of a new sub-brand, 'DRIVE WISE', to encompass its future Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). DRIVE WISE embodies Kia's philosophy to realize intelligently safe vehicles featuring Kia's latest and forthcoming ADAS technologies. Kia recently announced plans to manufacturer partially-autonomous cars by 2020, and aims to bring its first fully-autonomous vehicle to market by 2030.

Debuting at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, January 6-9, Kia's innovative DRIVE WISE technologies are currently under development. Engineered to improve safety for all road users, DRIVE WISE will enable Kia to introduce intelligent safety technologies to its future model range, helping to eliminate potential dangers – and, for many, the boredom – of driving, while changing the ways in which owners interact with their vehicles.

Kia unveils DRIVE WISE technologies at CES 2016

Kia's CES 2016 illustrates the progression of its autonomous driving technologies, from those available in current models to cutting-edge features being developed over the next 15 years under the DRIVE WISE banner. Kia's exhibit at the increasingly popular show gives visitors the chance to experience a host of next-generation technologies and concepts with interactive displays.

Tae-Won Lim, Senior Vice President, Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute of Hyundai Motor Group, commented, "Kia is undergoing a very promising and gradual process of introducing partially and fully autonomous technologies to its vehicles. Although the first marketable fully-autonomous car from Kia will not be available in the immediate future, the work our R&D teams are currently doing to develop our range of DRIVE WISE technologies is already improving on-road safety and driver assistance. The innovations presented at this year's show demonstrate the future direction we are taking."

DRIVE WISE technologies to improve on-road safety

By 2020, Kia aims to introduce its first partially-autonomous car with DRIVE WISE technologies, building upon the current generation of driver-assistance systems.

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.

Next-generation vehicle interaction

DRIVE WISE technologies will also facilitate communication and interaction between the driver and vehicle with innovative new Human Machine Interface (HMI) functions, such as gesture control, fingerprint sensors and smart-device connectivity.

Featured in a special I-Cockpit display at CES, Kia's next-generation HMI is based on the concept of 'blind control', with a fingerprint touchpad and gesture recognition used to operate the car's controls. Automatically recognizing individual drivers' preferences on start-up – based on their fingerprint or smartwatch – the car can immediately change the cabin ambience for the driver with their favourite music, preferred climate control temperature and the type of information displayed by the instrument panel.

Drivers' gestures are recognized by the I-Cockpit if they want to change any setting in the cabin, without taking their eyes off the road ahead.

License granted to test Kia DRIVE WISE on Nevada public roads

The preliminary investment by Kia – totalling US$2 billion by 2018 – will enable the company to fast-track development of its new DRIVE WISE technologies. The U.S. state of Nevada recently granted Kia a special licence to test the new technologies on public roads. Kia's all-electric Soul EV – the company's first globally-sold electric car – is acting as the brand's testbed for the development of next-generation DRIVE WISE technologies, as it takes to the roads around Death Valley.

Fully-autonomous cars on the market within 15 years

Key to Kia's future DRIVE WISE technologies is the development of its vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications system. For Kia to advance its partially-autonomous ADAS technologies far enough to bring the true 'self-driving car' to market by 2030, V2X must be fully integrated into real-life driving environments and be able to react as a human driver can.

V2X applies a series of sensors, radar, LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging radar) and external cameras, to perceive the surrounding environment and all relevant obstacles, as a human driver does. The system incorporates vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies as well, allowing the car to recognize, judge and control every driving scenario, obstacle or potential threat.


About Kia Motors Corporation

Kia Motors Corporation ( – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Over 3 million Kia vehicles a year are produced in 10 manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering around 180 countries. Kia today has around 49,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of nearly US$45 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan – "The Power to Surprise" – represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

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