All-electric 2023 Kia EV9 SUV gets Level 3 autonomy

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Kia takes a step forward in modern car manufacturing with the upcoming EV9 SUV.

Kia’s upcoming electric SUV, the EV9, seems to be something no one can stop talking about this April. With advanced features that place it in the realm of Level 3 automation according to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the EV9 shows Kia’s effort to rank high on today’s vehicle autonomy spectrum.

But the EV9 offers more than that – a competitive driving range, nature-loving attitude and a couple other features that make driving less demanding. Let’s take a closer look at what Kia is promising us for the second half 2023.

Inside Kia's EV9.

What is Level 3 Automation, and How Does the EV9 Achieve It?

Level 3 automation, according to the SAE, means that the vehicle can operate autonomously under specific conditions. Those conditions usually include roads such as highways and favorable weather conditions. A fully autonomous vehicle would receive a Level 5 rating. 

In the case of the EV9, it should be able to drive itself on highways with no need for driver intervention. This is made possible by an array of sensors, cameras, and radar systems that allow the vehicle to perceive its environment and respond accordingly.

More specifically, the EV9 will use the Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), which will enable Level 3 automation in specified markets. The HDP consists of fifteen sensors, including two lidars, which scan objects in a 360-degree circle around the car. This feature should be available on GT-line of the new SUV.

The EV9’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) enable it to handle lane changes, overtaking, and other routine maneuvers, making for a more comfortable and stress-free driving experience. One of them is Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 (RSPA 2), which will park the car without driver intervention, whether in or out of the vehicle! 

Is Kia’s EV9 Sustainable and Eco-Friendly?

Naturally, a car that wants to be competitive on today’s market can’t have a Yeti-sized carbon footprint, neither during production nor driving. The EV9 promises recycled and sustainable materials, and Kia hopes to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

The EV9 is built on Kia’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), a dedicated platform for their electric vehicles, and uses Kia’s fourth-generation battery technology. The 76.1 kWh battery is offered on the standard RWD battery, and the RWD Long Range and AWD variants will have a 99.8 kWh battery. 

The platform also enables fast charging, with the EV9 capable of charging enough to drive 239 km in just 15 minutes using an ultra-fast 800 Volt charging system. 

In terms of materials, Kia started implementing their new sustainability strategy starting on the EV9, with which they’re phasing out leather and introducing and increasing the proportion of sustainable natural materials like corn, sugar cane and natural oils.

EV9’s Range Can Take You On A Weekend Trip

The EV9’s impressive range is something that may endanger competitors. With a single charge, the EV9 can travel up to 541 kilometers (336 miles), according to WLTP, making it a viable option for longer journeys. The previously mentioned battery capacity and charging speed make it a deadly combo for other electric SUVs available today. 

While actual range can differ based on road conditions, weather and the like, 541 km is a good starting point; it’s enough for more than just city rides.

EV9’s Other Tech Capabilities

In addition to level 3 automation and sustainability features, the EV9 showcases a range of technological capabilities that make it a compelling option for drivers. It keeps up with what a modern SUV offers today, and not just that.

In addition to the RSPA 2, the SUV has a rear cross-traffic collision and blind spot assistance, lane assist, and speed limit assist among its safety features. The chassis frame structure of the EV9 has high-torsional stiffness and patent-pending B-pillar connection structure technology that provides class-leading levels of protection for both occupants and batteries. The vehicle also features ten airbags for in-cabin protection.

The Takeaway

Kia’s upcoming EV9 is a significant step forward for the South Korean brand. The vehicle’s Level 3 automation, sustainable design, impressive range, and technological capabilities make it a compelling option for drivers looking for a practical all-electric SUV. The car will be available for sale in selected global markets in the second half of 2023- and will hopefully reach the expectations we have today.

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