Kia EV Concept Hints at Mobility Ambitions

Kia has unveiled an EV as its vision of how vehicles designed for ride- and car-sharing models will look like in the relatively near future.

Based on the carmaker’s BEV Niro crossover, the HabaNiro making its global debut at next week’s 2019 New York International Auto Show uses butterfly-wing doors less for glamorous effect than to increase passenger access for all ages and physical capabilities. It’s an all-wheel drive, four-seater claiming a range of more than 300 miles.

Beyond the fluff of Kia’s outlandish claim that the concept creates a new vehicle type as an ‘everything car’ able to fulfil all motoring roles, it does give a clear vision of how access to a mobile space could become a major factor for vehicles that are expected to perform a multitude of roles for a variety of different users. It also suggests the automaker may be giving serious consideration to its role in future mobility solutions. So, it’s inside the cabin space that the real interest lies with features such as a full-width front windshield heads-up display controlled by a concave acrylic instrument panel that is a large interactive touchpad that allows users to swipe and move vehicle options across the heads-up screen.

The concept also predicts part-time Level 5 autonomy with retractable steering wheel and instrument panel freeing up cabin space. Information and media sources, such as a movie for a long journey, can be displayed on the full-width heads-up display. It also boasts Kia’s Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (READ) system first shown as CES 2019 that analyzes a driver’s emotional state through bio-signal recognition. By monitoring the driver, the vehicle tailor the interior environment according to its assessment to create a more pleasurable and safer driving experience.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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