LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the UVO eServices Infotainment System with Voice Command Navigation, the next iteration of the company's innovative voice-activated infotainment system, would be introduced first in the stunning new 2014 Sorento CUV. UVO eServices represents an evolution from the original UVO system's capabilities, adding a new telematics suite ("eServices") that is powered by an exclusive free smartphone app that will provide drivers with an innovative in-vehicle connectivity experience including navigation, diagnostics capabilities and added convenience features. UVO is short for "Your Voice," and provides consumers easy-to-use voice and touch-activated experiences to manage music files and hands-free mobile phone operation.
"UVO was a breakthrough for Kia, and signaled the brand's ambitious plans to become an in-vehicle technology leader by enabling drivers and passengers to use all of their personal technologies more safely and easily, while creating additional entertainment experiences," said Henry Bzeih, head of the connected car program and chief technology strategist, KMA. "With smartphone penetration nearing 50-percent in the U.S., UVO eServices extends our award-winning system's abilities far beyond the original offerings by utilizing one of the industry's first app-based approaches for telematics. The development focus for UVO eServices was to deliver the connectivity, services and notifications valued by vehicle owners while also adding emergency assistance features, diagnostic information and innovations such as our parked vehicle locator to create user-friendly experiences that exceed people's expectations."
UVO continues to offer drivers hands-free mobile phone management capabilities and hands-free control of music from a variety of media sources, including CD, radio, USB, media player, and the Digital Jukebox. With UVO eServices, users will now be able to control the 2014 Sorento's on-board navigation system through voice commands when the vehicle is outfitted with the UVO eServices/navigation package. Also new with UVO eServices is an enhanced telematics suite that offers a number of maintenance and infotainment functions, including 911 Connect, enhanced Roadside Assist, Automatic Diagnostics, Manual Diagnostics, Scheduled Diagnostics, vehicle maintenance, and eServices Guide, many of which are run through the owner's Smartphone equipped with the UVO eServices app available at no charge.
Advanced Voice Recognition makes it simple to operate many of UVO eServices functions, including the Sorento's voice activated navigation system. USB connectivity allows users to download music files from a memory stick into the Digital Jukebox. The large eight-inch touch screen is easy to operate and incorporates Sorento's rear camera display, Infinity® Premium Sound System and MY POIs (personal Points of Interest via online maps), a feature that makes it easy to customize the owner's most visited locations. UVO eServices is compatible with iPhone® at launch and Android® phones are expected to be compatible in the second quarter of 2013.
Key Features of UVO eServices:
- eServices Guide: Accessed via the touch-screen or voice command, eServices Guide places a phone call via Bluetooth® hands free connectivity to a voice response system that explains UVO eServices to the driver in an interactive manner.
- Car Care Web: Through the UVO eServices owner's portal, known as "Car Care Web," owners can check vehicle diagnostics, vehicle status, maintenance schedules, driving behavior, and schedule appointments with their preferred or nearby dealer via their home computer or mobile device. Owners also can earn awards for safe and eco-friendly driving viewable on Car Care Web should they rank high enough among their fellow UVO eServices owners.
- My POI: Also available to UVO eServices owners is My POI, a feature that allows owners to send a destination from Google Maps through their Smartphone to their UVO eServices vehicle. In the convenience of their home or office, the customer selects a destination from the Web via Google maps, once the customer's Smartphone receives the destination it will send the destination to the vehicle's navigation system the next time the Smartphone is paired via Bluetooth® wireless technology. In addition, all destinations sent from Google Maps will be copied to the owner's Car Care Web. (My POI is only available with UVO eServices vehicles equipped with navigation).
- Vehicle Diagnostics: If UVO's eServices identifies a problem by way of the Automatic Diagnostics function, it will communicate the vehicle's list of issues and its location to Kia's 24/7 call center or will schedule an appointment online with the nearest Kia dealership upon user request. With Manual Diagnostics, at the owner's preference, UVO eServices can connect the user with Kia's 24/7 call center or schedule an appointment online with the nearest Kia dealership, should an issue be found. Additionally, the user can take advantage of Scheduled Diagnostics from their smartphone, setting a monthly diagnostic check of the vehicle. Upon completion, any issues found are automatically forwarded to Car Care Web.
- 911 Connect: In case of an airbag deployment, the Crash Notification Assist function will alert emergency services. During a 10-second window, the driver has the option to cancel the call, otherwise UVO eServices will dial 9-1-1, read the vehicle's location out loud to the emergency services operator and allow the operator to speak with the vehicle occupants.
- Parking Minder: If the driver happens to forget where they parked the car, the Parking Minder function helps find it by sending the location of the vehicle to the driver's phone. If preferred, the owner also can take pictures of the surrounding area for reference, write a reminder note, email his or her location and set an alarm if the car is parked at a meter. To guide the owner back, the UVO eServices smartphone app will display the owner and the vehicle's locations on a map. Optionally, the owner can look through the phone's integrated camera where an icon on the phone's screen will point to the vehicle's location.
Following the introduction of UVO eServices in the Sorento, the system will be offered in other models in the Kia lineup, including the all-new 2014 Forte sedan.
Kia's Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is one of the world's fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America's full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality and the industry's highest brand loyalty ranking. Kia's U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds two of the company's best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan*. Kia's value and technology-laden lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website -- www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.
 At launch, the Apple iPhone will be the only UVO eServices compatible device. Apple iOS6 compatibility expected early 2013. Additional compatible devices expected late 2013. iPhone® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
 Feature requires a connected mobile phone via Bluetooth. Dependent on cellular service area coverage.
 Vehicle Diagnostics do not take the place of regularly scheduled maintenance. Feature checks powertrain, chassis, and airbag systems only, and requires initial activation. For factory-recommended maintenance schedule, see the Maintenance Feature of UVO eServices or the Owner's Manual.
 App requires UVO eServices equipped vehicle and runs on your smartphone cellular data service. Normal data rates will apply.
 The rear-camera display is not a substitute for proper and safe backing-up procedures. Always drive safely and use caution when backing up. The Rear-Camera Display may not display every object behind the vehicle.
 Infinity is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Incorporated.
 iPhone® is a registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Kia is under license. Other trademarks and tradenames are those of their respective owners. A compatible Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled cell phone is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology.
 Communications occur via connected Bluetooth® device.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
 Source: Automotive Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study.
 Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis.
 Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending October 2007 and October 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.
SOURCE Kia Motors America