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Kia shows next generation of social mobility

Kia has unveiled its plans for the future of mobility at CES 2018, aiming to have autonomous cars in cities by 2021 and 16 electric cars in its range by 2025.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the South Korean manufacturer unveiled its plans as parts of its ‘ACE’ strategy, which aims to make its cars more ‘Autonomous, Connected and Electric’.

Kia aims to have level four autonomous cars on the road in cities and testing by 2021. Level Four autonomous tech is when the car can handle most driving tasks autonomously, but requires driver intervention for more advanced situations such as merging onto motorways and in bad weather, for example.

Kia also wants to adopt connected car technologies across every segment in its range by 2025. This includes tech such as including an ultra-fast 5G mobile phone connection. Adding to this, it hopes for every model it sells to be connected by 2030.

Kia vice-chairman Dr. Woong-chul Yang said: “Kia’s connected cars will be both boundless and connected and offer a new kind of mobility experience. Virtual reality, self-driving cars and ‘vehicle-to-everything’ connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future, but as they rapidly become reality, Kia is exploring how to deploy these new technologies for its customers.”

The manufacturer already has one of the largest plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles presences of any manufacturer, and is looking to further this with the announcement of 16 new electric vehicles by 2025. As part of this, the manufacturer also aims to have a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle on the road by 2020.

At CES, Kia also showed off the Niro EV Concept, said to be next-step in the brand’s journey towards electrification. With its 150kW electric motor, the concept boasts a range of 238 miles.

‘Boundless for all’: Kia presents vision for future mobility at CES 2018

Elsewhere it announced an extension of its ‘WiBLE’ car-sharing scheme. The service has already been launched in Korea but is expected to be rolled out to Europe later in 2018.

The scheme will be available in designated areas of certain cities and will allow users to experience a variety of Kia’s cars. Users can access the service through a smartphone app, and will be charged for the amount of time they require the car. Kia will announce the first European locations for WiBLE later in the year.

Ted Welford

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January 9, 2018

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