According to Kia, vehicle functions like engine start and stop, or turning the climate control on and off would be possible from inside the house, just by asking Alexa for some help.
For those planning a creepy night time experience for the family inside the house, Alexa will also have control, when asked, over the vehicle’s doors, horn and flashlights.
For this feature to work, one would require several items. First, this new feature will work only on selected Kia vehicles: Niro PHEV, Soul EV, Optima PHEV and K900. All these cars are compatible with Kia’s UVO hardware. Secondly, one would have to own or buy either an Echo or Echo Dot device.
Of course, the system would also require a wireless signal with good coverage to function. Some safety precautions, like setting the vehicles in park before remotely starting the engines is also recommended. Kia’s new system will come with an extra charge in the form of a UVO subscription.
“We constantly strive to find new ways to make our vehicles more user-friendly,” said Orth Hedrick, Kia vice president for planning & strategy.
“The UVO Skill for Alexa makes it easier and more convenient for owners of compatible Kias to use their vehicles. The UVO Skill is one more enhanced feature that reflects Kia’s forward-thinking spirit.”
UVO is Kia’s suite of driver assistance technologies and encompasses everything from roadside assistance to infotainment and diagnostics. For Alexa control, the new feature will be called Skill.