Kia Debuts Driverless-Car Tech at 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

16_Kia_Soul_Autonomous_Driving.jpg Manufacturer image

CARS.COM — You’ve heard of smartphones and even Smart cars, and now Kia is introducing a new player to the intelligent-technologies field with Drive Wise. At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Korean automaker is unveiling plans for a new sub-brand for its autonomous-driving advancements, and says it will launch its first fully autonomous vehicle by 2030.

Related: Will Ford, Google Team Up on Self-Driving Cars?

Kia hopes to introduce its first partially autonomous vehicles by 2020, and already has been granted a license to test a self-driving Kia Soul EV on public roads in Nevada.

“Engineered to improve safety for all road users, Drive Wise will enable Kia to introduce intelligent safety technologies to its future model range, helping to eliminate potential dangers — and, for many, the boredom — of driving, while changing the ways in which owners interact with their vehicles,” Kia said in a statement.

Key aspects of the Drive Wise technology advancements include the Human Machine Interface and V2X systems as well as a variety of autonomous driving systems the automaker plans to develop during the next 15 years. HMI enhances communication between the vehicle and driver using gesture control, fingerprint sensors and smart-device connectivity using a “blind control” system that automatically recognizes individual drivers’ preferences upon startup.

V2X is a “vehicle-to-everything” communications system that uses a network of sensors, radar, light detection and cameras to “perceive the surrounding environment and all relevant obstacles, as a human driver does,” the automaker said. The Highway Autonomous Driving system allows vehicles to interpret lane markings to stay in their lane, pass other cars or follow a different road without driver input; Urban Autonomous Driving works similarly for negotiating dense city traffic. The Preceding Vehicle Following system helps the car safely follow the vehicle in front of it when lane markings are indecipherable, and the Emergency Stop System brings the car to a safe and appropriate stop in cases of extreme driver inattention.

Photo of Matt Schmitz
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

Latest expert reviews