Kia chalked-up its autonomous plans at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas with four concept vehicles with self-driving capability.
Developed by LGE-CTS Motorsport, the Niro Triathlon uses a Niro hybrid with the roof removed aft of the D-pillars to provide a small flat bed with integrated bike rack, tool box and tablet computer mount.
An ONEU laser bike lane light mounted at the rear illuminates the road behind and the idea is the triathlete can ride the bike behind the Niro Triathlon while the car drives itself.
The tablet computer is used to provide entertainment for those long hours pumping pedals and of course for performance analysis duties.
All triathletes crave performance and the Kia Niro Triathlon ticks that box with lowered suspension and lightweight 18-inch Method Rally Race wheels shod with 265/35R 18 Dunlop Direzza tyres.
The passenger side B-pillar has been removed to facilitate a rear pivot-hinge rear door and a wider opening front door which combine to provide a 90-degree opening for easy access.
After a clean-up from the inbuilt portable shower, the triathlete, with no need to actually drive, can relax in the Human Touch zero gravity ergonomic reclining chair.
School Of Rock Sedona
LGE-CTS Motorsports also created the School Of Rock gig van based on the Sedona minivan, which sells in Australia as the Kia Carnival.
The School Of Rock is a music education specialist and the autonomous Sedona has been kitted to be a moving recording studio complete with a ‘chill’ zone so performers can re-charge between gigs. There is even a big ‘RECORDING’ light on the roof so performers won’t be disturbed while laying-down a track or two.
As an autonomous vehicle, the School Of Rock Sedona has the driver’s side B-Pillar, steering assembly and gear lever removed to make space for a digital mixing board and two flat-screen monitors to record tracks.
Inside, the interior is lined with studio quality foam panels to cut-out exterior noise, there are near-field speakers and a ceiling-mounted boom microphone. There are roof panels to store guitars and other instruments and bean bags to relax in between sessions.
An impromptu concert on the road is no problem - open the tailgate and there is a stack of amplifiers ready for action.
No suspension modifications but contributing to the overall look are flat-black 20-inch Vossen VFS-6 wheels running 255/45R-20 Toyo Proxes tyres.
Sorento Ski Gondola
A creation of LUX Motorwerks, the Kia Sorento Ski Gondola promotes its ‘winter playground’ aspirations with the orange-highlighted Dominator Rubber Tracks.
Intended as a luxurious way of getting to the top of a mountain, removal of the B-pillars and fitment of rear-hinged rear doors allows for easy access to a cargo area for boots and other large equipment while custom rood rack handle the skis, boards and poles.
Black/orange highlighted headlights and LED light bars provide illumination in tough conditions.
Inside, snow enthusiasts can relax in luxury between runs - the self-driving Kia Sorento Ski Gondola taking them to the next destination - with black and orange leather trim, water-proof Line-X floor covering and custom door panels, dashboard and a centre console with an inbuilt personal tablet computer.
Soul First Class
Even the compact Kia Soul got the autonomous treatment thanks to LUX Motorwerks - the lack of driving paraphernalia (such as the steering wheel) allowing a custom interior fitout for business people to relax and work between meetings.
So the front seats are re-facing, there is a 40-inch Samsung LED TV connected to a Mac mini-computer, upscale audio speakers and a motorized centre console with to tablet computers to control the operating functions.
Rounding-out the lux interior are white/grey diamond-stitched leather seats and grey wood flooring.
Externally the autonomous Soul scores PPG ‘Lux Blue’ paint, revised grilles with LED lighting and 19-inch Rotiform Monoblock CCV wheels.
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