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HabaNiro concept CUV uses Lava Red color outside and in.

Kia HabaNiro Concept Unwrapped in New York

Artificial intelligence informs several technologies in the vehicle and could enable more in the future, Kia says of its Level 5 autonomous all-wheel-drive battery-electric vehicle concept.

NEW YORK – Dubbing it the “everything car,” Kia takes the wraps off its HabaNiro concept vehicle today at the 2019 New York auto show.

The HabaNiro, a play on the name of Kia’s existing Niro lineup of eco-friendly crossovers, is a compact CUV with a 300-mile (483-km) all-electric range and with all-wheel drive via front and rear electric motors, as well as Level 5 autonomy.

“This is no fanciful supercar that will likely never be built, but a prescient look into the future of mobility where automobiles will seamlessly integrate design, capability, usefulness and creativity,” Kia says in a statement.

Designed at Kia’s Irvine, CA, studio, the HabaNiro is made for urban and off-road driving and has metallic gray cladding; a “Lava Red” aero panel defining the C-pillar and extending over the roof; a shark-like grille with glass-black aluminum teeth in a slit opening; and satin and red aluminum exterior elements.

The HabaNiro’s Lava Red interior is entered through four butterfly-wing doors. Front seats are trimmed in bouclé fabric and there is a full-width heads-up display on the windshield in lieu of buttons and knobs. A concave acrylic instrument panel doubles as an interactive touchpad display. Swiping and moving vehicle options on the HUD are enabled by a Technical Option Sharing System (TOSS).

Ambient lighting is revealed through the geometrically patterned floor, and the steering wheel and instrument panel in the CUV retract forward when the Level 5 autonomous-drive system is engaged, Kia says, adding in this mode movies can be displayed on the HUD.

The vehicle has the Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (READ) system shown at January’s CES in Las Vegas, making cabin optimization and personalization possible via analysis of a driver’s emotional state using artificial intelligence.

AI-based emotional intelligence is the secret behind the HabaNiro’s Eye Tracking System. When a driver looks up to the top of the windshield, the usual location of a rearview mirror, the CUV’s 180-degree rearview video display automatically activates.

Kia notes AI someday also could detect a hungry driver and direct him or her to the nearest food options.

“AI and automation shouldn’t take the joy out of driving, as some auto lovers fear, but enhance it – anticipating needs so we can concentrate on the driving experience,” Kia says.

TAGS: Technology
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