Kia announces new brand for an autonomous driving future

Kia is getting serious about advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and announced Drive Wise as the sub brand to encompass the technologies at CES 2016. Drive Wise will drive partially-autonomous Kia's by 2020, with completely autonomous vehicles on the road by 2030.

The ADAS technologies are currently under development, but Kia is working on highway autonomous driving (HAD), urban autonomous driving (UAD), preceding vehicle following (PVF), emergency stop system (ESS), traffic jam assist (TJA) and autonomous valet parking technologies. Kia expects the world to remember a whole lot of new acronyms by 2020.

HAD technology enables Kia's to stay within the lane markers and change lanes using radar sensors and camera detection while UAD relies on GPS and live traffic data updates to navigate dense and traffic-congested cities.

Kia Autonomous Valet Parking

PVF takes lane-keep assist technologies to the next step and monitors how the vehicle ahead is moving to follow along, instead of relying on lane markers, which can be hard to track depending on weather or road conditions. ESS is designed to force drivers to pay attention to the road ahead by performing facial recognition that detects when the driver takes their eyes off the road and can force the car to pull over to the side of the road if the driver is too inattentive.

TJA aids driving in traffic by automating the drive and can even change lanes to get through traffic quicker. Kia's current advanced smart cruise control technology available in the Optima, Sorrento, Cadenza and K900 can automatically accelerate or completely stop the car, but the driver still has to manually resume it by pressing the button or gas pedal if the car stops.

Kia received a driver's license for autonomous driving cars in the state of Nevada last month and plans to invest $2 billion over the next two years, with sister company Hyundai, for ADAS technology.