For the last couple years we’ve been hearing automakers blather on about the importance of “connectivity solutions” and ways to marry your car with your phone, even beyond AndroidAuto and Apple CarPlay. Do you need “achievements” to unlock to enjoy driving? Do you want them?
The 2017 Kia Soul Turbo I’m testing out this week has AndroidAuto and Apple CarPlay, which, as you probably know, pretty much just project the phone’s menu onto the car’s infotainment screen.
But Kia also has its own app called Uvo.
I downloaded Uvo onto my phone, made an account in about 15 seconds, plugged the phone into the car and suddenly I could do basic diagnostic checks, pinpoint the car’s parking space, and mess with some other trivialities from my phone.
Logging into my account via Kia’s website, I realized there are “achievements” you can “unlock” by driving efficiently or basically just using the software. Anyone who’s played any video game since Halo came out will be familiar with this concept.
Digging into the Uvo interface a little deeper I realized I could also set curfew alerts, geographic alerts, and check up on how hard the car’s been driven with an online dashboard that looks like the performance reports we study about our readership traffic.
It’s even got a little illustration of the car in the correct color! Now how do you think I can get that extra point added to the driving score?
The concept seems fun and useful—two great qualities in any automotive feature. Whether or not it actually gets used is another question. And if it’s interesting enough to get you to buy one car over another, well, that’s what I’d like to hear from you.