South Korean carmaker Kia Motors India has signed a partnership with telecom service provider Vodafone Idea to provide internet functionality for its UVO connected cars system. The new Kia Seltos already comes with the UVO connected car tech that uses an eSIM that provides features like voice calling, 3G/4G data, SMS, Secured APN service and API integration. This, in turn, offers access to a number of features including navigation, remote locking, smartphone app-based control, while also powering the car's telematics enabled services for customers. The Kia Seltos is the brand's first offering in India, and the automaker is likely to offer the UVO connect feature on its future line-up of cars as well that will warrant a Vodafone eSIM.
Speaking about the partnership, Nick Gliddon, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited said, "Connected Cars, once an aspirational concept in the Indian market, has become a reality now. As industry and consumers adapt to this digital disruption, it gives Vodafone Idea Business Services an opportunity to introduce end-to-end IoT solutions to our automobile partners. Our global expertise and deep understanding of Indian consumers helped us to work closely with Kia Motors and make connected cars a reality for Kia Motors in India."
Commenting on the partnership, Manohar Bhat, Vice President & Head - Sales and Marketing, Kia Motors India said, "We are excited to be associated with Vodafone Idea - India's leading telecom service provider, to offer a seamless connectivity experience of our ultra-modern UVO connected system in the Seltos. 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."
The Kia Seltos is off to a good start in the market and its expansive list of features across 18 variants makes for a compelling case for potential buyers. The UVO connected car tech adds as many as 37 smart features to the compact SUV that includes AI voice command, stolen vehicle tracking and immobilisation, auto collision notification, SOS-emergency assistance, remote engine start and stop, remotely operated air purifier, geofence, time fence, speed and valet information.
The auto internet of things (IoT) has certainly made a number of smart features popular in recent times on both cars and two-wheelers. Much like the Seltos, the segment-rivalling MG Hector also uses an eSIM to power its connected car feature powered by Airtel, while Bangalore-based Ather Energy too uses an Airtel-sourced M2M SIM for the 450 electric scooter. We expect to hear of a number of partnerships going forward as the tech gains more popularity in the Indian auto market.