Kia Motors is an automotive brand that will soon become a household name. Throughout 2018, Kia developed an array of interesting technology for the automotive industry, and it seems 2019 will be no different. Already set to debut at the upcoming 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Kia Motors will be previewing another collection of technology aimed at serving the generation of drivers in autonomous vehicles. This may be a bit unorthodox, seeing as how the industry of self-driving vehicles is still in its infancy stage, and Kia could be getting ahead of things…but maybe that’s a good thing.
Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.)
The technology popping up at the 2019 CES is for the post-autonomous driving generation. This system, R.E.A.D. is designed to enhance the human mobility experience by optimizing and personalizing the in-car cabin experience. Developed through a joint research alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab’s Affective Computing group, the R.E.A.D. System is the first of its kind, capable of changing the vehicle’s cabin space based on evaluations of the driver’s emotional state in real-time via artificial intelligence-based bio-signal recognition technology. This may also share some similar features to the technology seen in early Kia Telluride concepts.
Being an artificially intelligent system, the technology would monitor the driver’s emotional state and then customize the interior environment based on its assessment of mood. The desired result would be to change the conditions associated with the current emotional state and create a more enjoyable experience while in the vehicle. It’s a little creepy when you put it like that. Sure, we want to keep people from getting behind the wheel when angry or upset, but having our car try to censor how we feel based on, maybe something as simple as our facial expressions, feels a little iRobot.
“We have developed R.E.A.D. System to create an interactive future mobility in-cabin space by converging cutting edge vehicle control technology and AI-based emotional intelligence. Consequently, R.E.A.D. System will enable continuous communication between drivers and vehicles through the unspoken language of ‘emotional feeling’, thereby providing an optimized human senses-oriented space for drivers in real-time.” – Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research and Development Division, Kia Motors.
The automaker plans to debut more technologies, and if 2018 is anything to go by, there should be some pretty interesting stuff. Check it out.
Technology Developed by Kia Motors in 2018
Following the release of the 2018 Kia Stinger, Kia Motors noticed the demand for all-wheel drive (AWD) in vehicles today. Called their next-generation “CK D-AWD” system, the name for their new drivetrain transfer case, the system was developed at the Hyundai Motor Group’s Namyang R&D Center in South Korea, and being that Kia Motors is under the Hyundai Motor Group umbrella, they also get the technology. In 2019, instead of choosing between two drivetrains, consumers get RWD automatically, but can opt-in for an all-wheel drive electronically-controlled transfer case. Pretty neat, it’s like a 4×4 system.
Hate having to listen to the driver’s choice of music? With “Separated Zone Technology” from Kia Motors, a Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) audio system may be in the near future. SSZ technology isolates acoustic fields around the cabin of a vehicle and then allows speakers around the cabin to increase or reduce audio levels individually and may make use of Bluetooth wireless technology so that even in a five-passenger vehicle, the driver and passengers can all listen to their own music. Making private phone calls private by isolating them to a single speaker in the cabin may also be possible with this technology.
Continuing to move forward with electric vehicles (EV), Kia is working on developing wireless EV charging stations. By harvesting up to 10 kW of electrons out of thin air at an efficiency rating of 85-percent, this technology basically charges up EVs by using the surrounding present electromagnetic field, collecting the electrons with the generator, and then converting that into electricity to charge the battery. This isn’t the only development for Kia Motors alternative fuel lineup.
Kia has also developed EcoDynamics, their very own mild-hybrid system and powertrain. Also known as EcoDynamics+, this powertrain can deliver greater fuel efficiency on internal combustion engine vehicles by using electric power. Controlled by an advanced Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that calculates the most efficient use of the available energy, and then adjusts accordingly based on the amount of charge remaining in the car’s batteries, the EcoDynamics+ powertrain can make use of two driving modes known as “motor” and “generator”.
Another interesting bit of tech in development would be solar panel car roofs, by Kia Motors. Already in its first round of testing, the first generation of solar roofs and hoods have already been shown to be able to charge 30-60-percent of a hybrid vehicle’s battery, depending on the weather and climate. But the best of all of these developments is artificial intelligence.
Said to be ready by 2019, Kia Motors plans to offer artificial intelligence in vehicles. Just another part of the autonomous vehicle race. Virtual assistance, A.I., and one day flying cars. The future is now.
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