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March 30, 2023

Kia To Start Offering Unlockable Features With The 2024 EV9

When Kia introduced its new logo and the tagline, Movement That Inspires, it also signified a shift in their mentality. From a traditional automaker, focused on manufacturing, Kia is aspiring to become a mobility solutions provider.

As such, the Korean carmaker is looking at vehicle purchase as just the first step in a more emotional and lasting ownership journey. And with more people starting to consider technology as an important purchase consideration, Kia is responding by allowing its vehicles to be updated throughout its lifetime. At the same time, it unlocks possible customization options, allowing owners to select new features to add to their vehicles long after they purchased them from a dealership.

The EV9 marks the start of that transition for Kia. Coinciding with the launch of their first all-electric, full-sized three-row SUV, is the Kia Connect Store.

Beyond the standard features of the EV9, the Kia Connect Store will allow customers to upgrade the SUV’s various digital features and services without the need to visit a dealership. Some of the ways the EV9 could be modified include a “Lighting Pattern” feature for its “Digital Pattern Lighting Grille.” It can also add performance with the “Boost” feature that unlocks an additional 100 Nm of torque, or add content streaming for occupants to enjoy through the infotainment system.

Most impressively, the Kia Connect allows EV9 owners to purchase the Remote Smart Parking Assist 2 or RSPA 2 feature. This technology enables the EV9 to park itself without the need for driver intervention, whether in or out of the vehicle, with the driver initiating the procedure via the Kia smart key called Digital Key 2.

By using ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles, the RSPA 2 automatically maneuvers the EV9 into the designated parking space, controlling the accelerator, brakes, and gearshift. The system also automatically applies the brakes if an object representing an obstruction is detected in the vehicle’s path. The EV9 also features Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) to prevent collisions with oncoming vehicles when reversing.

Furthermore, the myriad of sensors and cameras fitted to the vehicle means there’s even a possibility of adding more self-driving related technology (from the get-go, Kia says the EV9 is able to offer up to Level 3 autonomous driving).

Kia’s move to offer both Over-The-Air (OTA) as well as unlockable features after purchase will make their vehicles more software defined in the near future. This will allow vehicles such as the EV9 to keep itself up-to-date throughout its entire lifespan, ultimately improving the overall ownership experience.


  1. Oh no, it's the start of putting microtransactions for the automotive industry. Tesla and BMW is already doing this (with that heated seats feature locked with subscription.)

  2. eww in short subscriptions...

  3. Computer on wheels taking effect real soon.... Oh no!!!


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