Kia's 'Drive Wise' brand promises self-driving tech by 2020, fully autonomous cars by 2030

If there were a theme to this year’s automotive-related CES news, “autonomous driving technology” would certainly headline.

Not to be left out, Kia has announced an all-new sub-brand focused entirely on these driver assistance systems of the future dubbed “Drive Wise.” Its efforts will fit with recent news that the Korean automaker plans to release a partially autonomous vehicle by 2020 and a fully autonomous one a decade later.

In the brand’s own words, “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.”

To an enthusiast, “boredom” is a pretty harsh way of labeling driving, but in reality, there are numerous times when even the most avid do-it-yourself driver wouldn’t mind putting things in auto pilot.

At CES, Kia’s exhibit gives visitors a chance to experience some ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) for themselves. Among the technologies available to sample are Highway Autonomous Driving (HAD), which keeps a vehicle in its lane or passes other vehicles; Urban Autonomous Driving (UAD), which lets the vehicle navigate city streets using live traffic updates; Preceding Vehicle Following (PVF), which is basically adaptive cruise control; Emergency Stop System (ESS), which monitors a driver’s attention and brings the car to a stop if the driver takes their eyes off the road for too long; Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), which is like low-speed adaptive cruise control; and Autonomous Valet Parking (AVP), which lets a driver exit before the car parks itself.

Kia also displayed an iteration of its Kia Human Machine Interface (HMI) functions, including gesture control, fingerprint sensors and smart-device connectivity.

“Kia is undergoing a very promising and gradual process of introducing partially and fully autonomous technologies to its vehicles,” remarked Tae-Won Lim, senior vice president, Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute of Hyundai Motor Group (boy, what a title). “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.”

The automaker will invest $2 billion by 2018 to stay on its 2020 and 2030 targets. To help test the tech. before it gets to production, the state of Nevada has granted Kia a licence to test the new systems on public roads via Kia’s specially equipped Soul EV models.

Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.
Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.
Cars

A public/private autonomous driving institute blooms under the Arizona sun

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), partnering government, academic, and private organizations to develop self-driving tech and safety standards. Intel is the first private-sector member.
Cars

Room to roam: The supersized X7 is unlike any BMW you’ve ever seen

The first-ever BMW X7 is the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image. Its supersized body has enough room for seven adult passengers and enough tech to impress even the most cutting-edge buyers.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.
Cars

Heads up, George Jetson: Terrafugia starts taking orders for its flying car

The Terrafugia Transition flying car will go on sale next year, roughly a decade after the first prototype rolled out of its hangar. Terrafugia promises improvements, including a hybrid powertrain, to make up for the long wait.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Cars

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Cars

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.
Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.