Kia Europe is exploring the development and evaluation of advanced new in-vehicle warning systems that will alert drivers to driving hazards using live data, building on its existing portfolio of driver alert features. The trial is part of the Safety Priority Services project, a scheme initiated by the Dutch Government aimed at improving road safety, ahead of new EU legislation that is expected to come into force in 2025.

Working in collaboration with Hyundai, TomTom, ANWB, Inrix and Be-Mobile, Kia is exploring the potential to warn drivers of approaching emergency service vehicles. With many drivers unsure of the direction of travel of such vehicles on hearing a siren, the new warning system will indicate the type of emergency service vehicle and the direction from which it is approaching. The new feature would initially work with ambulances before other types of emergency vehicles are added.

Kia is also looking to develop warnings that can alert drivers to additional everyday hazards, including unexpected and potentially dangerous situations. Drivers could be warned about approaching vehicles travelling the wrong way, closed lanes, and upcoming traffic jams that might be obscured. This would augment existing alerts available through the infotainment systems of Kia vehicles, such as for obstacles in the road, roadworks, accidents, and anticipated exceptional weather conditions.

While the exact criteria will be agreed in advance by the Dutch Government, Kia will aim to incorporate these additional warnings within its vehicles’ existing infotainment system to avoid unnecessary driver distractions, with audio, visual and haptic warnings enhancing awareness. The warnings won’t require any input, ensuring drivers can keep their hands on the steering wheel. Throughout the trial, Kia will provide feedback on the quality of the NDW data so that it can be improved where necessary.

The Safety Priority Services project will run for three years in preparation for an anticipated new obligation to share data related to warnings, which is expected to be enshrined in European regulations in 2025.