Cars with new technology
K9, SM7 boast new features
By Kim Tae-jong
Power windows and locks used to be distinctive features of luxury cars, but today they are standard on most vehicles. In fact, it is critical now for new cars to be equipped with new technologies and advanced options.
An example of this is Kia Motor’s new premium K9 sedan.
When the automaker unveiled the K9 earlier this year, attention was immediately given to its design, but drivers were also very curious about what new features or technologies the new luxury sedan is equipped with.
The automaker proudly announced that the much-anticipated car has nine new technologies, promoting them as the major premium features that distinguish the new sedan from those of its rivals, although they have been readily available on a limited number of imported cars or very expensive vehicles.
“The new features are what make the K9 different from other rival cars,” an official from Kia Motors said. “They are all developed by local technicians.”
The automaker says the new features will help satisfy demands from drivers and help enhance convenience and safety in driving, he said.
Some of the advanced features include a heads-up display (HUD), which projects key information such as speed and warning signals onto the windshield so that drivers do not need to look at the car’s instrumentation. The K9 is the first Korean vehicle with a HUD.
Another key feature is its high-tech LED headlights, which move or optimize their beams in response to vehicular steering and suspension dynamics.
The nation’s top automaker Hyundai Motor has also introduced the latest information technology in its new SUV. The third-generation Santa Fe is equipped with a futuristic telematics feature dubbed Blue Link.
The model is the first domestic vehicle designed to connect smartphones with the SUV through a set of dedicated applications.
Telematics refers to the latest crossover between computer technology and mobile telecommunications, enabling the provision of a wide array of services inside an automobile.
Through the technology, drivers can order the Santa Fe to start the engine or find a route home with a few touches of their smartphones.
Some carmakers have also introduced new features as an option to existing models.
Renault Samsung Motor has recently unveiled an Around View Monitoring (AVM) system for its flagship luxury SM7 sedan. It provides a virtual 360-degree view of objects around the vehicle.
The innovative system features four small, wide-angle cameras located on the front, side mirrors and rear of the vehicle, which create and display a virtual image of the vehicle from above.
The automaker said the new system will allow motorists to enjoy a safer and convenient driving experience.
Many compact cars also have features that used to be only available in luxury sedans.
For example, GM Daewoo’s Spark has six airbags including side airbags
“Due to high oil prices, there is an increase in demand for compact cars, but customers also want small cars to be equipped with luxury features, especially for safety,” an official from GM Daewoo said.
Experts also point out that advanced features are critical to win the hearts and minds of customers but they are also the major reason behind price bubbles.
“It is obviously a good thing that automakers are developing new technologies for their cars,” professor Kim Pil-soo at Daelim College said. “But at the same time, it is a key reason for the price bubble of local cars, which motorists complain about most. Customers should be allowed to pick and choose various options as they want.”