The new Kia SUV is getting a bunch of cool new safety features, but there’s no word on the equipment levels for the Singapore-bound Kia Sorento yet, set to arrive at the end of 2020
Kia is revealing more details about the new Sorento, and confirms that it can be equipped with a second pair of eyes for the driver in the form of the Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) technology.
The system displays a high-resolution video feed on the left or right side of the instrument cluster if the driver indicates to change lane with another vehicle hidden in their blind spot. It’s a step up from the passive blind-spot monitors currently found on many other cars that simply use a warning light on the wing mirrors.
The video cameras are activated with the use of the turn indicator, and the display will temporarily be shown in the digital instrument cluster while still showing the driver the vehicle’s current speed.
The video feed comes from discreet wide-angle cameras hidden in each of the rear view mirror housings. Critically, these provide a wider viewing angle than the mirrors themselves, so the driver can take a glance to see if there is a motorcyclist or small vehicle out of sight of the rearview mirrors.
Video-driven blind-spot monitoring systems are still something of a rarity in mainstream passenger cars, but Honda did have a good run when it introduced its LaneWatch system in 2012. First made available in Singapore that same year with the Honda Accord, it used a single camera fitted to the passenger side wing mirror and displayed the video on the centre console when activated with the turn indicator.
The LaneWatch system is still available on the current-gen Honda Civic in Singapore, but Honda has recently stated that it will be phasing it out in favour of conventional warning light-based blind-spot monitoring systems on future models.
The Kia BVM system is designed to integrate seamlessly into the new Sorento’s digital instrument cluster, that is built around a high-definition 1920×720-pixel display. The digital cluster replaces conventional analog dials with a single, seamless display, incorporating pin-sharp digital dials for vehicle and engine speeds.
It includes a multi-function display that can show turn-by-turn navigation instructions, audio information, and in-depth trip information, as well as vehicle diagnostics alerts. Such displays have been a mainstay on luxury continental cars for quite some time now, but Kia is one of the first mainstream brands to effectively integrate the multi-function display into its mainline vehicles.
Kia’s BVM technology has been confirmed to be offered on European Sorentos as part of a package which includes a Surround View Monitor and Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA).. This package of technologies is available on vehicles equipped with Kia’s Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) function, which helps drivers avoid colliding with vehicles in their blind spot and intervenes if it detects an impending crash.
Cycle & Carriage, distributor of Kia vehicles in Singapore, has not yet finalised the equipment levels that will be available when the new Kia Sorento makes its way here. However it has confirmed that we should expect to see the new Sorento arrive before the end of 2020.