Kia Motors is expanding its range of UVO Connect services offered to European drivers. A series of new ‘Phase II’ features are due to be rolled out to many models in Kia’s European line-up over the coming months, enhancing vehicle connectivity and control, and taking the stress out of journeys.

UVO Connect’s Phase II features provide customers with several new benefits, such as more accurate journey times, ‘last-mile’ navigation assistance, and a range of features to enhance connectivity and usability. These can be accessed through an enhanced UVO smartphone app or via vehicles’ on-board infotainment systems.

The first Kia models in Europe to offer UVO Phase II connected car features will be introduced throughout 2020, in line with planned model year updates, including the new fourth-generation Kia Sorento.

More accurate traffic prediction

One of the most useful Phase II features to be offered in UVO Connect-equipped vehicles is ‘Online Navigation’. This service draws on cloud-based real-time and historical traffic data to more accurately predict traffic levels, giving customers a more accurate picture of journey times and estimated time of arrival.

This differs from traffic prediction tools found in conventional navigation systems, which only rely on in-car route planning and real-time traffic information to estimate journey times.

Augmented navigation

Kia’s new ‘Last Mile Navigation’ feature will help customers continue navigating to their final destination, even after they have parked up and left their car behind. This offers Kia customers the ideal solution for navigation in towns and cities where parking hubs are often some distance away from shops, cafés and restaurants.

Once the vehicle’s ignition has been turned off, this new feature sends a push notification to the UVO app on the user’s smartphone if their destination is between 200 metres and 2 kilometres away. The app lets users seamlessly access Google Maps navigation to complete their journey on foot. Alternatively, users can engage an augmented reality function, ‘AR Guidance’, which opens the smartphone’s camera and blends the image with AR turn-by-turn directional arrows.

Transferring profiles between cars

Customers can also use a new ‘User Profile Transfer’ feature on the UVO app. This enables them to check and change their vehicle settings directly from their smartphone, including navigation, radio and Bluetooth preferences, at a time and place convenient for them. When the ignition is turned on, customers are automatically greeted with their preferred settings, saving time and making each journey more enjoyable.

It also lets Kia owners back-up their in-vehicle UVO preferences via the cloud and transfer settings from one vehicle to the next. This system will benefit customers who regularly switch between different UVO Connect-equipped Kia cars, for instance, fleet drivers who use pool cars, or families with more than one UVO Connect-equipped Kia in their household.

Range of features to enhance connectivity and usability

Other new features in development for Kia’s Phase II UVO Connect system include a new ‘Valet Parking Mode’. This enables customers to monitor their vehicle remotely when being driven by someone else, as well as locking the system to protect any personal data, such as navigation locations. This lets them view the car’s location, driving time, driving distance and top speed on the UVO App, helping to provide peace of mind should their vehicle be in another’s care.

The Phase II UVO Connect system will also draw upon a wider range of ‘best-in-class’ data providers for its Kia Live Services functionality, giving customers more accurate information. Instead of being limited to one data provider, Kia Live Services will bring together data from a range of specialist providers for traffic information, parking availability and cost information, locations and pricing for fuel stations and EV charging points, weather forecasts, and online POI search and speed camera information (speed camera location data depends on market).