Kia voice recognition wins top award

Kia’s UVO system, developed with computer giant Microsoft, won the 2009-2010 Industry Newcomer Award at the annual Telematics Update Awards Conference in the US.

Kia will now introduce the groundbreaking technology in the Kia Sorento this year and in future models such as the Kia Sportage crossover.

The UVO (short for ‘Your Voice) system allows the driver to answer and place phone calls, receive and send text message and access music and other media using simple voice commands.

The innovative hands-free system can respond to questions such as ‘Who’s playing’ with audible answers.

UVO powered by Microsoft is a breakthrough for in-vehicle infotainment and another solid example of why Kia is a true tier-one automotive brand," says Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing, KMA.

"With UVO, Kia is able to offer drivers a rich telematic experience and a clear competitive advantage, allowing Kia drivers to safely and easily use all of their personal technologies and create personalized in-car communications and entertainment experiences."

Kia claims speech recognition software is the future of in-car entertainment, but the system also caters for drivers who do not wish to use the voice recognition software with a 4.3" colour display with rear-view camera and the ability to manually manage the media system.

The UVO system also boasts a 1GB hard drive, and the ability to connect to an external flash drive through the USB port. The UVO also contains a 5 disc CD changer, Bluetooth and iPod connector.

Kia and Microsoft based UVO on Microsoft Windows Embedded Auto, which is already in use in Ford and Fiat in-car entertainment systems.