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What will our future look like with Kia PBV?

Jun 16, 2022

How can we best describe movement in the future, and how will it change our lives? As a Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider, Kia is answering these questions with the concept of the Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV).

Purpose Built Vehicles, or PBVs, are modularization-based mobility with electric powertrains. Their design transcends traditional concepts of vehicles, which were designed primarily for drivers, to focus on purpose of use, a shift that reflects changing trends of the mobility industry – including the movement toward sharing rather than owning and the high demand for last-mile mobility. Indeed, Kia believes that the PBV will bring about entirely new lifestyles.

To get a better idea of just how, let’s take a sneak peek inside the daily lives of four individuals living in the future and see how Kia’s vision becomes a reality. Within each of their routines lie core concepts that PBV foreshadows, ranging from autonomous delivery mobility to modular camping car.

*Computer-generated image intended to enhance reader understanding

Scenario 1. Steve’s daily commute

Busy getting ready for work, Steve sets the destination to work on his smartphone app. He recently subscribed to a ride-hailing membership service, as he found it much more time- and cost-saving than owning a car. As he finishes the last bite of his sandwich, the car arrives right in front of his house, taking Steve to work right on time.

Steve has a last-minute conference today, so he’ll be arriving home late. On the way to the conference venue he remembers his dog. He uses the onboard connected car service to turn on the Pet TV channel to keep her entertained until he gets home.

Scenario 2. A hectic day of a startup CEO

Emma, a CEO of a promising tech-startup, twisted her ankle while working out yesterday. She didn’t have time to see a doctor, so instead, she calls the mobile hospital which meets her at her door and treats her ankle on the way to work. In the afternoon, Emma remains mobile, attending a lunch meeting with a client at a mobile restaurant.

It’s monthly shipping day at Emma’s company. As usual, the prearranged urban logistics mobility team arrives right on time and loads the goods in the cargo space. Another successful shipment with fast and efficient deliveries.

Today was busy for Emma, but tomorrow is another day. She has an important meeting in the morning across the country, so she reserves a mobile hotel for her trip. While she sleeps, the multi-purpose mobility determines the optimal route and navigates her to the destination on time. In the morning, Emma will have a fresh start in a different city.

Scenario 3. On Ryan’s way to the lunch appointment

Freelance designer Ryan has a lunch appointment with his friend today. Just as he steps outside the door, he gets a call. There will be an urgent project meeting in 10 minutes. Ryan originally planned to walk to the station, but instead he calls a robotaxi equipped with conference call features. Without having to rearrange the lunch with his friend, Ryan attends the meeting inside the taxi on the way to the subway station. Indeed, anywhere can be turned into a private office these days, Ryan thinks.

As Ryan and his friend enjoy lunch together, they talk about the new smartpen that was just released by their favorite brand. Ryan decides to buy one and orders it with a few clicks. When he arrives home a few hours later, he finds his smartpen package has already arrived, delivered by a micro PBV that offers rapid urban delivery services. Eager to try out the new gadget, Ryan dives into the project, his new smartpen in hand.

Scenario 4. Cindy and her family love outdoor adventure!

It’s camping day! Cindy and her family kick off their journey early in the morning. Cindy’s multi-purposed vehicle, which she uses for work during the week, now turns into a decent family camping car. With an autonomous driving feature, Cindy is no longer stuck behind the wheel all the way there. As the driving system powers on, she rotates her driver seat towards the back to enjoy some time with her family.

The kids decide to play a P2P game on a panoramic display, while the parents spend some quality time watching their favorite movie on a 4D display. The use of all of this electricity would seem like a worry, but it’s not. This purpose-built all-rounder mobility has a sunroof that is itself a solar panel, converting sunlight instantly into electricity and providing extra energy for the cabin passengers.

Arriving at the camp site, Cindy connects the electric grill to the EV and enjoys an outdoor barbeque party. As the night approaches, the modular platform expands into a spacious camper. They fall asleep gazing at the stars through the panoramic sunroof.

So, what do you think? Can you imagine yourself being a part of these stories? In fact, this is just a glimpse of all the things to come in our soon-to-be future, with PBVs.

To fast-track our journey to a smarter future, Kia recently introduced Niro Plus, the brand’s first derivative PBV model. Tailored to the needs of different users, Niro Plus comes in two versions – a taxi version and a general version for recreational purposes.

Niro Plus taxi model provides more cabin space and an integrated All-in-One Display, meeting the demands of Korean taxi operators and passengers. The general, non-taxi version reflects more general needs, with many business and recreational purposes including car-hailing services. It will be launched in selected overseas in the 2nd half of 2022.

In the mid-to long term, Kia will develop dedicated PBVs – with its first dedicated model to be launched in 2025. By securing the leadership in the global PBV market, Kia aims to become the number one global PBV brand by 2030.

Our lives will be filled with more inspiring movements as the future approaches. Kia and its PBV vision will walk you through the journey to make these dreams a reality.