Kia has announced that in order to make its vehicles more attractive to customers, it would be offering motorists the option to control a wide range of functions using the Voice assistant from Amazon, Alexa. This would be available in selected Kia models and would cover functions like start and stop, turning climate control on and off from within the home and even controlling the horn, lights and doors of the vehicle.
This new option is available only in a few Kia models like the Soul EV, Optima PHEV, K900 and the Niro PHEV. All these models have Kia’s special UVO hardware, Kia’s suite of driver assistance technologies which offers features ranging from roadside assistance to infotainment and diagnostics. For Alexa control, the new feature will be called Skill. Motorists would also need either an Echo or Echo Dot device and good wireless signal for the system to function.
Kia has recommended taking some safety precautions, like putting the vehicles in park before starting the engines remotely. Motorists will be charged separately for the UVO subscription.
Commenting on the new service, Kia’s vice-president for planning and strategy, Orth Hedrick, said that the company is constantly striving to find new ways to make vehicles more user-friendly.
Hedrick said, “The UVO Skill for Alexa makes it easier and more convenient for owners of compatible Kias to use their vehicles. The UVO Skill is one more enhanced feature that reflects Kia’s forward-thinking spirit.”
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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