Kia first introduced its Microsoft-powered UVO (short for “your voice”) infotainment system in 2011. In addition to the familiar features such as touchscreen controls, voice-activated navigation, and Bluetooth connectivity, the next generation UVO (eServices) has an app-based structure and integration with Google services, including Google Maps and Google Places… The best part? It won’t cost you a dime, since there’s no monthly charge or subscription fee.
Google Maps and Google Places
UVO eServices employs both Google Maps and Google Places. Once the UVO app is installed, you can use Google Maps and Google Places to search and add new points of interest (POIs) to the vehicle. The app has the ability to sync with the car, so by going to Kia’s website or directly from the app, you can search different locations, addresses, and businesses before you ever step into your car. Once in the car, you can sync your searches to the system and receive a plethora of information for that location (e.g. phone number, address, directions, and more).
If you’ve ever walked a crowded parking lot in search of your vehicle, you’ll appreciate this feature. Next time you forget where your car is parked, Parking Minder will send the exact location of your vehicle directly to your smartphone. If this happens to you often, you also have the option of sending a reminder note straight to your email before you leave your car or have Google Maps guide you back.
Similar to GM’s OnStar system, eServices offers an emergency 911 connect feature. If you get into an accident that causes an airbag to deploy, the system’s crash notification assist function will automatically alert emergency services to your location. You’ll have a 10 second window to cancel the call, otherwise UVO eService will dial 9-1-1, inform emergency services of your location, and connect you to an operator.
Car Care Web
Car Care Web allows you to check a number of vehicle diagnostics, vehicle status, and even schedule maintenance appointments for your car. Car Care Web can be accessed either online or through the UVO eServices head unit inside the vehicle.