Kia’s UVO eServices Keeps Car Owners Informed and Connected

REDMOND, Wash. — May 16, 2012 — Ask most people how they track the maintenance of their car, and it’s likely they’ll reference the tell-tale or the ubiquitous static cling oil-change reminder tucked in the corner of the windshield. But if Korean auto maker Kia Motors has its way, these analog mainstays could give way to something a bit more high tech.

Kia this year rolled out UVO eServices, which includes a suite of telematics tools to monitor your vehicle’s performance and help you stay current with factory maintenance schedules. UVO eServices also includes navigation and location-based services that help monitor your car’s location — whether lost in a parking garage or keeping tabs on where your teen took it the night before.

Kia Optima With UVO eServices Kia Optima With UVO eServices

May 15, 2012
UVO eServices adds a new telematics suite that will provide drivers with an in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation, diagnostics capabilities and other convenience features.

UVO eServices is based on the UVO infotainment system that Kia and Microsoft first announced in 2010, and which is powered by Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Automotive software platform. The core of the UVO experience is built around features that enable a driver to access music files, change radio stations, and make or answer phone calls, all by using the vehicle’s color touchscreen or voice recognition powered by Microsoft Tellme.

UVO eServices exemplifies the intelligent system, a new category of technology solutions that Microsoft identified last year, in conjunction with Intel and industry analyst firm IDC Research. Intelligent systems harness data and use it to drive greater insight — whether on the factory floor or behind the wheel of a car.

Stepping Outside the Car

With the move to UVO eServices, Kia is expanding the driving experience into your day-to-day life, a concept Kia’s head of infotainment and telematics, Henry Bzeih, calls a “vehicle relationship management” system.

“There’s a lot of data potential locked inside the average vehicle, and with UVO eServices we’re making that data usable beyond the immediate driving experience through the PC, smartphone or the in-dash touchscreen,” Bzeih says. “The driver can view, share and manage the data for their car when and how it’s convenient for them. It takes this nice-to-have feature and makes it an essential part of vehicle ownership in the 21st century.”

Put another way, UVO eServices arms you with information to get more value out of your vehicle. And it does so without requiring a subscription to a monthly data plan. To get a sense of UVO eServices’ potential, it’s helpful to understand how it works:

  • UVO eServices is connected to a multitude of sensors embedded throughout a Kia vehicle. These sensors watch for data such as diagnostic trouble codes, mileage and driving patterns.

  • Customers access this maintenance and vehicle diagnostic information on their PC or mobile device.

  • Customers can also request a customized maintenance schedule, which Kia formulates by adjusting the factory maintenance schedule based on the performance data for their vehicle.

“What’s great about UVO eServices is that it showcases how an intelligent system can use information that already exists to improve various aspects of your daily life,” says Steven Bridgeland, senior product manager for Windows Embedded at Microsoft. “Kia has done an impressive job of blending the practical benefits of technology in a way that redefines how you interact with your car.”

A Connected Experience Designed for the Practical

Kia UVO Infotainment System Kia UVO Infotainment System

May 15, 2012
Powered by Windows Embedded, the UVO infotainment system enables drivers to access music files, change radio stations, and make or answer phone calls by using the vehicle’s color touchscreen or voice recognition powered by Microsoft Tellme

Like any other intelligent system, UVO eServices takes the data from these sensors and sends it to a datacenter where it can be analyzed. In this case, the information is focused on improving the way a vehicle is made or, at your request, offering suggestions on how to drive more efficiently.

Kia designed UVO eServices specifically with the needs and desires of the millennial generation —especially young families with children. The result is a connected driving experience that fulfills this generation’s penchant for technology, along with providing practical applications to address a variety of needs.

In addition to the diagnostics and maintenance scenarios mentioned earlier, UVO eServices includes a few really slick tools for keeping tabs on your vehicle when you’re not behind the wheel. Known as Geo Fencing, Speed Watch and Curfew Limits, they constitute My Car Zone, a key feature in UVO eServices. Using the car’s GPS and telematics capabilities, each of these tools set limits around how late someone — a teenage driver, for example — is allowed to be out on the road, how fast they’re able to drive and where they’re allowed to go.

An audible alert notifies the driver that a limit is about to be broken. If the limit is exceeded, the next time the owner pairs his or her phone with the car, UVO eServices will provide details on the severity of the violation, along with when and where it took place.

Features such as My Car Zone help demonstrate why Kia UVO was recognized with the Industry Newcomer Award by Telematics Update in 2010. And as Kia puts the finishing touches on UVO eServices for its 2014 model year, it seems sure to impress.