} ;

CES 2019: Kia looks beyond autonomy to well-being

11 January 2019 | by Karl Smith

Autonomy may be languishing in the trough of disillusionment in the ‘real’ world, but at CES it is still accepted as soon-to-be-realised fact. So now, a number of manufacturers and suppliers are looking beyond autonomy to what’s next in the development of the automotive cabin of the future.

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KIA introduced its R.E.A.D. system this week, an idea for an automotive journey focused on well-being. R.E.A.D. stands for Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving, and is intended for both full autonomy and level three or four autonomous vehicles. The system senses a driver’s and passenger’s states of mind and can tune the seats, temperature, audio/video, and other cabin environmental variables. KIA explains the system in this video:

The R.E.A.D. system was contained in little pods that were sleek and seemed like a cool urban transport solution, although thousands of these running around the megacity might make the town of tomorrow look like a nest of insects. Still, the benign little ovoid shells were good frames for the various interior mockups on display.

For a humorous preview of R.E.A.D. follow the story of the neurotic sunfish and his commute to work:

Also at KIA was a demo of their V-Touch virtual interface system that uses gestures to operate various controls in the cabin. KIA has a system of 3D cameras that monitor the fingertips and eye motions of driver and passengers to allow for touch-free, but not hands-free, controls. See demo here:

Finally, for our neurotic Sunfish’s view of the V-Touch (which saves the day on the first date):