The head of design at Kia says the ability of drivers to use touchscreens “is increasing daily”.
Karim Habib, who heads up design for the South Korean firm, was speaking to journalists during an online media session about the new EV6 attended by CARmag.co.za.
“The abilities of people to work with screens – to read screens – is increasing daily. The digital natives can do much more than people like me can on the screen,” the 51-year-old said.
“That being said, of course, when it comes to driving, there are certain [internal safety] requirements that are important to us at Kia,” he added.
Asked separately by CARmag.co.za whether the company was concerned the increase of in-cabin technology would in turn result in more distracted driving, Habib said Kia worked hard to make sure this wouldn’t be the case.
“Yes, of course this is a concern. We’re working with that every day. We have two 12-inch screens [in the new EV6] and we have a large amount of information. But we worked very closely on the demands of ergonomics and safety to make sure this doesn’t happen.
“One thing that’s important to know is that there are more and more automated driving features that we are providing. The safety features that we are providing are also working to allow for more information to be inside the vehicle. That will, of course, expand in the future.
“Connected to that is what is expected to be done inside the vehicle. In this case, we’re talking about a sporty, dynamic vehicle [the EV6]. But we will also be developing vehicles where it’s more about ‘living’ inside. The activities you do inside will sometimes be more distracting but we will have the safety features to make sure that is possible.”
Furthermore, Habib suggested the screens in the new EV6 would provide only the necessary information while the vehicle was on the move.
“That being said, we also try to ‘curate’ the information – you don’t get every [piece] of information at every moment in every area of the screen. We try to make sure that there’s the necessary information at the right time, for the right scenario. So we try to basically limit the amount of information, depending on how you’re using the vehicle,” he explained.