Kia Motors America Drives Into Redmond
June 24, 2010
New Sportage spins its wheels and shows off UVO, powered by Microsoft.

REDMOND, Wash. — June 24, 2010 — If you were on roads around Puget Sound on Wednesday enjoying the sunshine, you may have noticed a group of shiny new Kia Sportages. Kia Motors America (KMA) was in town this week to introduce the all new 2011 Kia Sportage CUV to journalists, giving them the opportunity to kick the tires and check out UVO, powered by Microsoft.

The all new 2011 Kia Sportage comes with UVO, powered by Microsoft.
The all new 2011 Kia Sportage comes with UVO, powered by Microsoft.
Image: Web | Thumb

The 2011 Sportage CUV, available this summer, will be the second Kia Motors vehicle to offer UVO, an advanced hands-free, in-car communication and entertainment system built on the Windows Embedded Automotive software platform. UVO enables drivers and passengers to answer and place phone calls, receive and respond to SMS text messages, access music from a variety of media sources, and create custom music experiences. The Kia Sorento is the first model to be equipped with UVO.

The two companies have a strong relationship as they work together on the UVO experience, and to dive into the technology further, the group made a pit stop at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. Henry Bzeih, national manager, Connected Car, Kia Motors, joined key Windows Embedded team members closely involved with the development of UVO to talk about the excitement both companies have for UVO and the experience it will provide drivers.

“There is a growing demand among consumers for advanced in-car technology systems like UVO. It’s exciting to see Kia Motors embrace the power of the Windows Embedded Automotive platform to create rich and engaging in-vehicle experiences for their drivers,” said Mukund Ghangurde, director of product management for Windows Embedded, who was on hand to meet with the group.

“Microsoft provides a foundation for the UVO system, an important element of connected car technology. And as Kia moves deeper into providing advanced future connectivity in its vehicles, we look forward to an expanding relationship with Microsoft,” Bzeih said.

The all new Kia Sportages lineup before leaving Microsoft as part of Kia Motors’ media event. The Sportage will offer UVO, powered by Microsoft.
The all new Kia Sportages lineup before leaving Microsoft as part of Kia Motors’ media event. The Sportage will offer UVO, powered by Microsoft.
Image: Web | Thumb

The afternoon was capped off by a tour of the Microsoft Home, a full-scale model home, to experience technology scenarios of how we might live five to 10 years from now before the drivers hit the road again to get in as much time as possible behind the wheels of the Sportages.

UVO boasts many features, including advanced speech recognition, natural interface advancements and the ability for the system to be continuously updated after it enters the market, something anyone would appreciate who knows they’ll be driving their car for years to come.

The system has already received high industry praise since it was unveiled at the 2010 International CES, winning the recent Industry Newcomer award at Telematics Update Detroit. At the same time, the platform the system is built on, the Windows Embedded Automotive software platform, received honorable mention for Best Telematics Component Solution.

Microsoft has a strong history in the automotive space spanning more than 13 years. Windows Embedded works with automakers to help deliver engaging and differentiated in-vehicle experiences on an industry-leading platform for communication, entertainment and connected services.

Be sure to check back here throughout the summer for further updates regarding Kia vehicles and UVO as they get closer to appearing in dealer lots. View more photos from Kia Motors’ media event on the Windows Embedded Flickr page.

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