Words by Ben Falk, Yahoo writer and journalist
Kia have launched a brand-new advert that reveals a range of future technologies that they are planning to add to their cars in the future – and there is some very exciting stuff in the pipeline.
The ad is based on the classic story of Peter Pan with a grown-up Peter and Wendy facing down the rich tyrant Hook in the Neverland of 2030, a world in which the one-handed villain has monopolised automotive technologies and isn’t prepared to allow regular people to get access to them (something Kia’s philosophy of ‘Boundless for All’ specifically contradicts).
Cue a showdown in which the good guys are helped by a Kia concept car featuring some of the innovations which are currently being worked on by the company’s research and development teams.
So, what can you expect your Kia to be doing in the future?
Smart Biometric Access System
The company says, “[the new advances] should be designed to provide user convenience and enjoyment.”
The recognition software certainly does that. The genius idea is not that far away from the technology available on some premium smartphones and adding this functionality to your car is an incredible next step in the efforts to streamline your life and make things easier.
The technology will be much more advanced as it will scan your walking patterns and facial profile to recognize the driver. Not only will it unlock the car, it will provide customized services like adjusting seat position. Pretty neat.
We imagine that this will also increase the levels of security around your vehicle, essentially rendering it a pointless target for any potential thieves.
AI-powered intelligent voice assistant
With the proliferation of smart home devices, people are getting used to having an automated helper around the house. One of Kia’s innovations is something designed to make road travel similarly simple.
The Intelligent Agent is able to understand driver’s voice command naturally and responds accordingly. The system will suggest which drive mode should be used based on the driver’s condition and the weather outside or automatically switch to the auto pilot mode when he or she needs to take a rest.
Sound Focusing Technology
Known as Sound Focusing Technology, this is being specifically engineered for electric cars as they have make almost no sound. The lack of engine noise means that pedestrians might not be able to hear an electric car coming, even when it’s right next to them.
Rather than simply add noise to the car (and the roads), this tech allows the car to target sound at a specific person. In other words, in today’s world, if a pedestrian walks onto the road without looking, they might not hear an electric car. In tomorrow’s world, the car will be driving sound towards them and therefore will alert them of the car’s presence.
Smart Pixel Light Technology
Smart Pixel Light Technology will let our cars project messages to other drivers (like “Your lights are on!”) or pedestrians (“Watch out!”) by projecting words on the road in front of you.
This will help clear up confusion on the roads with the current ‘flash your lights’ method that normally ends up with drivers confused and distracted rather than informed.
An electric car that can charge itself while in motion
Electric automobiles are at the forefront of the fight against climate change, but one of their current downsides remains the number of miles you’re able to drive before you have to stop and recharge.
So how about being able to charge the vehicle’s battery while in motion? Not having to plug in will revolutionise journeys by electric car and eliminate the potentially huge outlay on installing charge points in rural areas.
In-car healthcare system
In Kia’s new film, one of the things we see Neverland’s citizens receiving after Hook’s defeat is use of a built-in smart healthcare system which can test your heart rate amongst many other things. Right from the driver’s seat of your vehicle.
It uses soft radar, which is not harmful to the human body, to check your vital signs. If the car spots any health issues, it will advise the driver to rest or automatically park the car in a safe place and call the emergency services.
Smart window displays
Smart window displays will enable passengers to enjoy visual entertainment such as concerts or movies on the surrounding glass and windscreen. No need for smartphones or tablets in the world of tomorrow.
Ultimately, it’s clear from ‘Peter Returns’ and Kia’s ambitions that none of this will remain in the realm of sci-fi for long.
For the full video of ‘Peter Returns’ and videos of the technologies described in the short film, please visit the Kia Motors website.