It's loaded with advanced connectivity features.

Kia's sales have skyrocketed in the US this year off the back of an SUV lineup that seems to cater to the exact needs of the market. The dramatically styled Sportage has just been revealed, and together with the upcoming EV6 electric vehicle, the brand's momentum seems unlikely to slow do anytime soon. Kia is now focusing on in-vehicle connectivity and has just announced that its in-car and app-based telematics system has been rebranded from UVO to Kia Connect. The latest Kia Connect system will introduce many high-tech features and better complement the company's electrification plans.

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Kia says that the new name highlights the importance of connectivity, especially since Kia Connect is now offered on at least one configuration of every Kia model. That applies to the 2022 model lineup. According to Kia, it only had 15,000 connected cars in 2018, a number that will have ballooned to an estimated 600,000 by the end of this year.

Building on what was already offered with the UVO system, Kia Connect will introduce Map Over the Air (OTA) updates. The first model to offer this functionality will be the 2022 EV6. These OTA updates will allow owners to add new features over time.

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Depending on the model or trim, other features that will be included as part of Kia Connect are a Wi-Fi hotspot, Connected Weather, an on-demand Find My Car feature linked to a surround-view camera system, 911 Connect with roadside assistance, and integration with the driver’s personal calendar. Added to this, Connected Routing is a cloud-based system that users AI and other data to calculate the best driving routes.

Functions like the climate control and audio system can be controlled via voice, and Smart Speaker Integration uses smart speakers/devices to remotely control selected features. Finally, Last Mile Navigation provides walking directions to destinations up to one mile away.

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Kia Connect seamlessly links up with the Kia Access App which has been recently refreshed. This app is available on both Apple and Android devices.

“As Kia shifts to electrification, in-car connectivity is a core pillar of the brand,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia North America and Kia America. “To that end, Kia Connect will deliver a world-class customer experience through an array of features that enhance vehicle connectivity, functionality, and user control.”

Although the 2023 Sportage is the first Kia announced with the new Kia Connect system, the 2022 EV6 is actually the first model that will go on sale with Kia Connect.

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