Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"Alexa, Warm Up My Car": Kia Adds Amazon Alexa Remote Voice Controls to Several Models

Kia Optima Hybrid. Photo: Kia media website.
If you've been waiting anxiously to be able to control your Kia from an Alexa-powered Amazon device, your moment has arrived.

Kia Motors America announced on Monday that they have added the ability to remotely control a number of functions, such as starting and stopping the engine or heating and cooling car interiors, using simple voice commands.

The new features are enhancements of Kia's UVO Skill system, UVO being an acronym for "Your Voice." UVO Skill also allows owners to lock doors, sound the horn and flash the lights, and start and stop charging a Kia plug-in or electric vehicle.

Using these new enhancments requires a device with Amazon Alexa like Echo or Echo Dot and one of the following Kia vehicles with compatible UVO hardware: Niro Plug-In Hybrid (2018); Soul EV (2017, 2018); Optima Plug-In Hybrid (2017, 2018); or K900 (2016, 2017). An Alexa companion app is available to facilitate setup of UVO Skill.

“We constantly strive to find new ways to make our vehicles more user-friendly,” says Orth Hedrick, vice president, planning & strategy, Kia Motors America. “The UVO Skill for Alexa makes it easier and more convenient for owners of compatible Kias to use their vehicles.”

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