Kia Soul EV Autonomous Vehicle Traffic Jam Assist

CES Report: Kia Motors Hits the Road Alone

Announced today at their CES press conference in Las Vegas, Kia ‘DRIVE WISE’ encompasses all their advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including both partially and fully autonomous vehicles. Nevada has already granted Kia a special license to test the autonomous Kia Soul EV on public roads and the company is aiming to introduce partially-autonomous driving technologies by 2020, with arrival of fully-autonomous vehicles targeted by 2030.

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.
— Tae-Won Lim, Senior Vice President, Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute of Hyundai Motor Group

Kia Soul EV Autonomous Vehicle Traffic Jam Assist
Kia Soul EV Autonomous Vehicle Traffic Jam Assist
Image Credit: Kia Motors

Some of the advanced technologies that Kia is developing will provide the driver with greater levels of assistance, including anticipating and reacting to changing road conditions and potential hazards to improve safety for all drivers. Kia’s exhibit at CES allows visitors to experience some of the DRIVE WISE technologies through a series of interactive displays that include:

  • Highway Autonomous Driving (HAD) uses both radar and camera 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 — 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 congested city environments while responding to live traffic updates.
  • Preceding Vehicle Following (PVF) is an enhanced lane-keeping system that 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 is part of Kia’s Driver Status Monitoring (DSM) system that continuously monitors the driver’s face, ensuring their attention does not stray from the road for too long. If the system detects that the driver takes their eyes from the road for too long, ESS will 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.
Kia Soul EV Autonomous Vehicle Traffic Jam Assist
Kia Soul EV Autonomous Vehicle Traffic Jam Assist
Image Credit: Kia Motors

Featured in a special cockpit display at CES, Kia’s next-generation Human Machine Interface (HMI) is based on the concept of ‘blind control’, using touchpad gesture recognition 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 ambiance for the driver with their favorite music, preferred climate control temperature and the type of information displayed by the instrument panel.

The key to the future of Kia’s DRIVE WISE technologies is the development (and success) of its vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications system… if a true ‘self-driving car’ will actually come to market by 2030, V2X must be fully integrated into real-life driving environments and be able to react at least as fast as a human driver can.

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