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Kia cars may one day be phone-controlled

26 Apr 2019

Kia cars may one day be phone-controlled

You can control pretty much everything through your smartphone these days, from your central heating to your doorbell - and now one automotive company wants this to extend to your car, too.

In the not-too-distant future, all of Kia's new electric vehicles will come with the catchily-named 'smartphone-electric vehicle pairing-based performance adjustment technology', allowing users to customise their car's primary functions through an app.

This will be an industry first and means drivers could adjust features including torque output, ignition, acceleration, braking capacity, responsiveness and energy use on climate control.

To help the average driver who probably hasn't a clue why or how they would alter these parameters, the app will helpfully provide suggested optimised settings for designated destinations and recommend tailored solutions.

For example, data on the condition and location of particular roads will be taken into account before suggestions are provided so the motorist can easily adapt their car for rural or urban driving.

In a world where everything is shared online, drivers won't feel left out because the app will also allow them to tell others about their customised vehicle settings.

This function will be protected from potential security issues through blockchain technology on a central server.

Importantly, the smartphone-electric vehicle pairing-based performance adjustment technology will only be available on zero-emission vehicles like electric cars because these permit the modification of the driving experience without changing the carbon footprint.

Research fellow JeongSoo Eo from Hyundai Motor Group, which owns part of Kia Motors, said: "By developing paradigm-shifting mobility technology like this one, we will continue to strive to improve user experience for electric vehicles customised to individual preferences."

There was no ETA on this new technology as yet, so it's unclear when UK drivers should start looking for it on their new Kia deals - but it's something to eagerly anticipate for the future.

The news comes after it was revealed by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association that Kia had recorded its best ever quarterly sales figures in Europe during the first three months of 2019.