Kia Sportage Techs Up with Uvo, WiFi, Real-Time Traffic

September 10th, 2009

Kia Sportage New getting a heavy dose of technology in the 2011 edition, with a trio of technologies the company thinks an appeal to a whole new set of buyers.

The new Sportage will be responsible for moving the crossover bargain basement and into a richer segment filled with 20-something guys who love music – and enough money to afford all its forms, downloads to concert tickets to high-end audio hardware.

To meet the taste and at the same time, catching up with companies like Ford in the in-car technology race, Kia adopting a taste of the same Microsoft technology that powers the Ford SYNC system. This is called the UVO, and it showed off at the tech events like the annual CES convention to seed the ground for a transformation of the image of Kia vehicles along more cutting-edge lines.

We told you earlier this year that UVO not much of what Ford Sync does. Users can place and answer phone calls, send and receive SMS text messages and access to music via voice commands. It is even possible different voice profiles, and supports the natural language, as requested, “What’s playing?” And thanks to an upgrade to the underlying information architecture of Microsoft, the UVO system comes out of the box with a far richer than the command list first version of Ford SYNC. Now, the larger list of commands (also SYNC is added) lets drivers down into playlists, genres, media types and even artists to tap into a voice command – such as “AM 1130″ or, perhaps less often these days, “Artist Amy Winehouse. ”

Bluetooth streaming is included in the system, and it illuminates the owners of up to spring for a special $ 39 cable to all the features of their iPod or iPhone to the Sportage to connect. We are mixed about the performance of Bluetooth streaming, but there is no denying the safety hook. When Bluetooth streaming is enabled, administrators can control the playlists, search and search, and other functions of the steering wheel controls. You can not do in a similar Toyota Bluetooth streaming, and features making it the first day is a conscious effort, says Kia, the drivers’ hands on the wheel instead of picking up and manipulating the music.

It is particularly important when the features that come in the near future to consider. Down the road, UVO Kia will expand service to the plug-ins to incorporate social media. An app-based system that allows users to read UVO their Twitter feeds, Facebook updates and RSS feeds – even prompt the system to provide an automated response if necessary.

The UVO will be accompanied by real-time traffic by Sirius, another feature of the system will be common with Ford (no surprise, given the number of ex-Ford people wandering the halls at Hyundai / Kia these days). And Kia’s also due to mobile connectivity in the hotspot Sportage to offer a USB dongle. Rolling WiFi is emerging as a trend, Chrysler and Subaru to offer it on their vehicles, and – but it raises the question of how new 3G data caps from providers like AT & T and Verizon will affect the nascent technology.

Stay tuned – we have a full review of the 2011 Kia Sportage shortly.

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