Kia is stepping up its development of autonomous vehicles with the launch of the Drive Wise sub-brand, with its first fully autonomous car due to arrive before 2030
6 January 2016

Kia has launched a new sub-brand to develop and showcase its advanced driver systems and future autonomous technology.

The new brand, named Drive Wise and announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is the latest step in Kia’s development of autonomous driving technology. The Korean brand plans to introduce cars with partially autonomous driving functions by 2020, with full autonomy featuring in production cars by 2030.

Among the future technologies to be badged under the Drive Wise banner are autonomous motorway driving and the so-called Preceding Vehicle Following, which is an advanced lane-keeping system that monitors the vehicle in front and allows the car to calculate a path relative to it.

Other technologies include an emergency stop system, which can bring the car to a halt if it detects the driver has fallen asleep at the wheel, a traffic jam assist function allowing the car to move freely through lanes of traffic and an autonomous parking system.

Kia says drivers will interact with the Drive Wise suite of technologies through its next-generation Human Machine Interface, which features gesture control, fingerprint recognition and smart device connectivity.

The new interface is being showcased at CES in an ‘i-Cockpit’ display. Kia says the system can recognise a driver and load their infotainment preferences upon starting.

The next stage of Kia’s autonomous vehicle development will involve testing on public roads in the US, and the brand has recently been granted a licence to run driverless cars in Nevada, using the Soul EV as a test bed.

Kia says the launch of the Drive Wise brand will allow it to “introduce intelligent safety technologies to its future model range, helping to eliminate potential dangers - and, for many, the boredom - of driving, while changing the ways in which owners interact with their vehicles”.

Read more CES news

Our Verdict

Kia Soul EV
The Soul EV is Kia's first global electric car

Smooth, refined and responsive, but some way behind the new EV models from Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen in nearly all areas

Join the debate


6 January 2016

Can they take a guess at the cost of a truly autonomous Kia car would cost £40,000 upwards? p.s. autonomous parking systems already exist, Ford have had them for years but hardly anyone wants to pay the £1,000 or so for it.


Hydrogen cars just went POP

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    Can Seat’s first SUV impress, even with the heavy burden of expectation?
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    The last hurrah for the current Aston Martin Vantage adds the track-ready GT8 to the range
  • Audi S5 Sportback
    First Drive
    20 October 2016
    New S5 Sportback is more spacious, better to drive and offers a calmer ride than before, but rivals offer greater involvement
  • Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy
    First Drive
    19 October 2016
    Mildly revised hot hatch is enjoyable on UK roads but continues to play second fiddle to the Ford Fiesta ST
  • 2016 Smart fortwo Brabus cabrio xclusive
    First Drive
    18 October 2016
    Mechanical upgrades make the Smart Fortwo Brabus cabrio better to drive, but it’s too pricey to recommend