Kia’s CES display highlights the enhanced capabilities of Kia’s UVO EV smartphone app with telematics functionality specifically designed for electric vehicles. This is in anticipation of the launch later this year of Kia’s first all-electric vehicle in the U.S. market.

Kia Motors America (KMA) said it brought to the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) its new and future technologies highlighting telematics and infotainment.

The cornerstone of these new technologies is the UVO system, which serves as the catalyst for connectivity between driver and car, said Kia.

“With UVO, Kia has a strong base to build from in the advancement of telematics and infotainment technology, pushing the boundaries of connectivity and convenience while maintaining safety as a top priority,” said Henry Bzeih, chief technology strategist, KMA. “Kia’s teams are constantly looking for new and better ways to strengthen the relationship between driver and car. Our real-world approach to in-car technology, coupled with compelling design and premium amenities has the Kia brand moving in new and exciting directions.”

UVO for EV

Kia’s next production-ready version of the UVO telematics system provides up-to-the-minute battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the downloadable smartphone app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of HVAC presets.

At the heart of Kia’s telematics and infotainment innovations is UVO VR (Voice Recognition) technology. Powering the next generation Kia telematics, the Korean company said this Hybrid VR platform enables users to easily and efficiently perform functions such as dictating messages, selecting their favorite music or asking for directions, all while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Some 2015 model year Kia vehicles will arrive with an all-new generation of multimedia suite, including the ability to download additional apps such as the music service, iHeart Radio. The addition of the Sound Hound music recognition app will take in-car music engagement to the next level, and the integration of Yelp will help Kia owners locate the hottest restaurants and best clubs.

Kia added its own UVO-based app store will allow owners to customize their infotainment and telematics experience.

Presented as a cross-sectional vehicle display, Kia proudly showcases at the 2014 CES current and future technology. Featured are 24 different technologies, 10 of which are integrated in current production vehicles such as the recently unveiled K900 rear-drive flagship sedan, including Smart Cruise Control and Around View Monitoring systems. In addition to the display, detailed video demonstrations of each technological component provide an opportunity to learn more about the projects currently being developed by Kia’s global R&D teams, including advancements in Eco-friendly and multimedia technology such as wireless charging and a water-cooled battery system.

Kia is also featuring the North American debut of its CUB concept car powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine.