Kia has officially entered the autonomous vehicle ring, announcing at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the arrival of its Drive Wise sub-brand and claiming it will debut partially-autonomous vehicle tech by 2020 and a fully-autonomous model before 2030.
At the show Kia detailed driver-assist systems like Precedeing Vehicle Following, which uses cameras and rardar to monitor the position of the car directly ahead and orient the car to follow its path.
A hands-off autonomous highway mode is another one of the technologies Kia is preparing for the future, alongside a fatigue detection system which will automatically bring the car to a stop if the driver loses consciousness.
And, following similar initiatives by manufacturers like Volvo, Nissan and BMW, Autonomous parking is also lined up in Kia's Drive Wise tech pipeline.
The Korean automaker says future Kia owners will interact with the Drive Wise systems (as well as other in-car technology) via gesture controls, similar to those pioneered by BMW in its recently-launched G11 7 Series.
Fingerprint recognition will also enable the car's computer to recognise drivers and automatically recall infotainment and seat position settings during start-up. At the CES show Kia has an interior mock-up (which doesn't necessarily represent a future production car) showing how its new infotainment and driver interfaces might be integrated into Kias of the future.
According to Kia, the introduction of Drive Wise systems will help "eliminate potential dangers - and, for many, the boredom - of driving, while changing the ways in which owners interact with their vehicles”.
Kia has already begun testing its Drive Wise autonomous technology, with on-road trials using a modified Kia Soul EV currently underway in the United States.