Kia announced development of ‘smartphone-electric vehicle pairing based performance adjustment technology,’ which allows users to customise primary functions through a smartphone application – an industry-first innovation.
Drivers can use this technology to adjust seven performance features including the maximum torque output of the motor, ignition, acceleration and deceleration abilities, regenerative braking capacity, maximum speed limit, responsiveness, and energy use on climate control.
As electric vehicles continually expand their market share, especially in rental or car-sharing industries, the new technology will allow drivers to use their custom settings in whichever electric vehicle they drive by downloading their profile from the server.
The application provides optimised settings for a designated destination by analysing the remaining distance and electric energy requirement. It can also accommodate sportier driving by recommending tailored performance settings.
Beyond the driver’s seat, users can share their customisation settings online as well as try out other users’ custom settings. Customers can also apply recommended settings by the brands based on the condition of roads, from country roads to the city center or mountain ranges.
Kia will utilise blockchain technology to prevent security issues while users upload and share their custom settings on the server.
In the process of uploading and sharing custom settings, the system encrypts major performance parameters in a blockchain network by creating new data blocks and stores them in the distributed data storage system to block unauthorised manipulation.
Kia’s ‘smartphone vehicle pairing-based performance adjustment technology’ is possible due to electric vehicles’ distinctive properties which set them apart from combustion engine vehicles.
Zero-emission vehicles offer unique freedom to modify the drive experience because altering performance doesn’t change the carbon footprint. As such, electric vehicles provide drivers more leeway in applying such technology.
“As Kia is planning to deploy 44 eco-friendly models by year 2025, including 23 electric vehicles, we see the potential of technologies and services inherent in non-combustion vehicles,” said research fellow JeongSoo Eo from Kia. “By developing paradigm-shifting mobility technology like this one, we will continue to strive to improve user experience for electric vehicles customised to individual preferences.”
The technology is expected to be implemented in future Kia vehicles.