} ;

CES 2019: Kia looks beyond autonomy to well-being

11 January 2019 | by Karl Smith

Autonomy may be languishing in the trough of disillusionment in the ‘real’ world, but at CES it is still accepted as soon-to-be-realised fact. So now, a number of manufacturers and suppliers are looking beyond autonomy to what’s next in the development of the automotive cabin of the future.


KIA introduced its R.E.A.D. system this week, an idea for an automotive journey focused on well-being. R.E.A.D. stands for Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving, and is intended for both full autonomy and level three or four autonomous vehicles. The system senses a driver’s and passenger’s states of mind and can tune the seats, temperature, audio/video, and other cabin environmental variables. KIA explains the system in this video:

The R.E.A.D. system was contained in little pods that were sleek and seemed like a cool urban transport solution, although thousands of these running around the megacity might make the town of tomorrow look like a nest of insects. Still, the benign little ovoid shells were good frames for the various interior mockups on display.

For a humorous preview of R.E.A.D. follow the story of the neurotic sunfish and his commute to work:

Also at KIA was a demo of their V-Touch virtual interface system that uses gestures to operate various controls in the cabin. KIA has a system of 3D cameras that monitor the fingertips and eye motions of driver and passengers to allow for touch-free, but not hands-free, controls. See demo here:

Finally, for our neurotic Sunfish’s view of the V-Touch (which saves the day on the first date):