Home » Kia’s unveils ‘Automode’ autonomous driving tech that may debut on the EV9 SUV

Kia’s unveils ‘Automode’ autonomous driving tech that may debut on the EV9 SUV

A lot as Hyundai did yesterday, Kia has introduced an electrification roadmap at its 2022 Investor Day, promising to have 14 totally electrical fashions by 2027 and gross sales of 1.2 million EVs by 2030. It additionally revealed that its EV9 SUV, unveiled in idea type final November on the LA Auto Present, would be the first to make use of autonomous driving tech it calls “Automode.”

Kia’s roadmap builds on its “Plan S” improvement technique introduced early in 2021 that included new branding and a plan to introduce of seven EVs by 2027. Now, the corporate plans to double that with 14 BEV (battery electrical automobile) fashions out there by 2027 and complete EV gross sales of 1.2 million by 2030. It additionally tasks to promote 4 million automobiles yearly by 2030, so EVs would make up simply over 1 / 4 of that — whereas automakers like Mercedes-Benz plan to solely promote BEVs by 2030.

The technique remains to be formidable, because it’s beginning with 160,000 BEV gross sales this 12 months and plans to ramp that up by 5 instances to 807,000 models in 2026 and 1.2 million by 2030. To hit these targets, Kia will introduce no less than two new electrical automobiles per 12 months. A few these might be electrical pickup vehicles, together with a “devoted electrical pickup truck and a strategic mannequin for rising markets,” the corporate stated.


Within the close to time period, Kia plans to launch its flagship electrical automobile, the EV9 SUV, by 2023. The idea model it teased final 12 months had squared-off Vary Rover-ish traces, a large 27-inch show and a Tesla-like yoke as an alternative of a steering wheel. Kia now says that will probably be round 5 meters lengthy, speed up to 100 km/h (62 MPH) in 5 seconds, and journey 540 km (340 miles) on a cost — whereas supplying you with an additional 100 km of vary with simply six minutes of charging.

The EV9 may even provide over the air (OTA) and FoD (function on demand) providers for the primary time, permitting house owners to simply replace their automobile’s software program. “As well as, will probably be the primary mannequin to be outfitted with Kia’s superior AutoMode autonomous driving know-how,” it stated. Automode might be “quickly expanded” all through its lineup after that.

What’s Automode, you may ask? All we all know to date is that it is “a variety of autonomous driving applied sciences” that may embrace a “Freeway Driving Pilot” function that works by itself with out driver intervention on freeway sections. It is going to even be improved because the know-how develops through wi-fi updates. It seems like no less than Stage 3 self-driving, one thing nonetheless solely out there from just a few automakers, so we’ll should see how that goes for Kia.

In its press launch, Kia provides extra particulars about how and the place it plans to promote EVs, PHEVs, and hybrid fashions world wide. Nonetheless, it has already overhauled its plans considerably simply over the previous 12 months, and is probably going to take action once more. Given the early success (2,126 models bought in February) and usually glowing evaluations of the EV6, Kia has purpose to be assured about future EV plans.