South Korean automobile company Kia Motors has decided to venture into the Indian connected car sector by collaborating with telecom operator Vodafone Idea. The companies have signed a partnership for the India debut of its UVO connected car system with the Kia Seltos.
“Connected Cars, once an aspirational concept in the Indian market, has become a reality now,” Nick Gliddon, chief enterprise business officer of Vodafone Idea, said in a press release.
Kia Seltos is mini-SUV launched in August 2019 and the purpose-built advanced version of the vehicle will be powered by Vodafone Idea’s telecom platform.
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The car will come equipped with close to 37 smart features under five separate sections – navigation, safety and security, vehicle management, remote control and convenience. These features will include AI voice command, stolen vehicle tracking and immobilization, auto collision notification, SOS-emergency assistance, remote engine start and stop, remotely operated air purifier and in-car air quality monitor.
“Kia Motors India aims to enhance the in-cabin and driving experience of our customers and we are confident that this partnership will enable them to be able to fully experience the array of connected and interactive features provided by UVO connect seamlessly, anywhere and everywhere,” said Manohar Bhat, vice president and head of sales and marketing of Kia Motors.
The Connected Car Market In India
A connected car is a car enabled with internet that provides a wide range of communication and other functional possibilities. The internet connection allows cars to data with other devices inside and outside the car.
According to a report by marketsandmarkets.com, the Indian connected car market is expected to grow a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.2%, to reach $32.5 Bn by 2025. The current estimates show that the market stands at $9.8 Bn in 2019.
Some of the major players in the India connected car market are Germany-based Bosch, US-based Harman, Japan-based Denso, Netherlands-based NXP, US-based Garmin, Homegrown UNO Minda, and UK-based Delphi.
The India government has also mandated connected features for public transport vehicles under AIS-140 or Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), from April 1, 2018. It involves a set of guidelines Indian transportation system needs to fulfill to improve safety in Indian mobility.