Kia and Uber Partner Up to Add Kia PBVs to the Platform

January 19th, 2024 by


During the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Hyundai Motor Group presented the second Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) passenger vehicle from Supernal, SA-2. Possible through a partnership with Uber, the trend continues into the Kia Corp. During the 2024 CES show, Kia also made a presentation about its new platform-based vehicles (PBVs). The first phase of this new type of PBV is designing a vehicle for hailing, delivery, and utilities. So of course, the best choice for the first and second options is a deal with Uber.

“PBVs will play a key role in the customization of mobility, and by partnering with Uber, Kia aims to deliver industry-leading technology with advanced software and services to enhance the ride hailing experience,” – SeungKyu (Sean) Yoon, president & CEO, Kia North America, and Kia America

As the auto industry shifts towards cleaner alternative fuel sources, Uber’s mobility platform is also moving towards a similar goal by enhancing electric vehicle offerings available through its service. The global ride hailing leader wants to achieve a zero-emission output for 2040, and the partnership with Kia will help make this possible with its all-electric PV5 PBV. Placing a new focus on modular platforms that can be easily swapped out, this partnership with also give Kia the chance to create proofs of concept, prototypes for testing, and eventually produce an assortment of PBVs that can be tailored to the needs of drivers. Think about it – not every vehicle is made to carry a canoe, nor is every vehicle a luxury car – but it can be.

The first phase of the PV5 won’t bring modular platforms to commercial services for some time, but as a ride hailing service, Uber does need to keep tabs on all of its drivers. Part of phase one is enhancing the data connectivity between vehicles, made to make the management of commercial fleets that need to share information much easier. Personalized riding environments may be possible to integrate however, turning the inside of a vehicle into a personal lounge like a limo to make the ride hailing experience a little more upscale. Features like climate and sound control and interactive rear-seat entertainment systems may also follow as more PV5s become tailored for the ride hailing experience. Eventually, phase two will be the chance to expand upon the PV5. Different cab designs will be made available to commercial services and the general public, including Basic, Van, High Roof, and Chassis Cab versions.

Helping to push forward the partnership between Kia and Uber, several states have already introduced the Kia Flex program in North America. With plans to eventually go global, Kia Flex allows drivers to choose Kia vehicles for use on the Uber platform. Able to include EV options, insurance, and maintenance like modern car rental and car sharing companies do, this gives consumers a choice to pick the car make or model, not just the type (Uber or UberX?), and it’s convenient. It’s a comprehensive vehicle package that Uber can benefit from, and thanks to Kia Connect diagnostic and preventive services, the service will also be able to ensure the performance of the vehicles making up the Uber fleet.

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Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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