Print 25 comment(s) - last by 67STANG.. on Jan 2 at 12:35 AM

South Korea's Hyundai Kia Automotive Group has announced a long awaited rival infotainment system to the Ford SYNC, dubbbed UVO, Like SYNC, the new system is powered by Microsoft Auto.  (Source: Hyundai Kia AG via Engadget)
It's Episode I of the Attack of the SYNC Clones

For the last year and a half, SYNC, an infotainment system, has been driving stronger vehicle sales at Ford.  Many consumers jumped at the chance to add the feature, which brought cutting edge technology like voice operated music to the car for the first time, while offering many familiar commands like turn-by-turn directions and phone calls, with a voice activated twist.

However, Ford was not the first automaker internationally to deploy a system based on Microsoft Auto, the OS underlying SYNC (that honor goes to Italy's Fiat SpA), and it seemed unlikely that it would be the last.  Now after over a year of preparation and discussions with Microsoft, South Korea's Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is getting a similar system.

Microsoft and Hyundai Kia announced a new system called UVO (for "your voice") that should be soon incoming to vehicles according to Engadget.  Similar to SYNC, the system will likely fulfill a variety of infotainment roles.

Even as Ford prepares to announce new SYNC features at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, next month, Hyundai Kia and Microsoft are expected to have a showcase announcement for UVO as well.

Details are currently scarce about the new system.  It should be interesting to see how it stacks up against the latest iteration of SYNC.  If the 2000's could be called the decade of horsepower wars, it appears that the upcoming decade may be called the decade of car-tech wars.

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RE: No thanks...
By Brandon Hill on 12/31/2009 10:02:58 AM , Rating: 5
Yup -- Hyundai/Kia is the new Toyota, albeit it's rising in quality and power faster than Toyota ever did.

And Hyundai seems to be producing far more interesting vehicles than the increasingly boring and "beige" Toyota.

RE: No thanks...
By R6Raven on 12/31/2009 11:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
My point exactly - Who would have thought a decade ago that Hyundai was capable of the Genesis Coupe?

RE: No thanks...
By Brandon Hill on 12/31/2009 11:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
I know! It's quite amazing to say the least. Couple the great product with the amazing bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty and you really can't go wrong.

It's a damn shame that some people are still stuck in the past when it comes to Hyundai though.

RE: No thanks...
By HighWing on 12/31/2009 3:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's a damn shame that some people are still stuck in the past when it comes to Hyundai though.

I would have to say that is because while their current offerings are improved, those poor quality cars that gave them that rep. are still on the road and sitting on used car lots. And sales people are of course quick to try and sell them off as the same quality as their current models to people who don't know any better. Thus the poor rep. propagates

RE: No thanks...
By Samus on 12/31/2009 6:05:00 PM , Rating: 3
My sister's 2003 Elantra's brakes cost $2000 to replace. The rotor and hub steel is such low quality that they corroded together and requires new hubs, bearings, rotors, pads, and one of the calipers froze because a boot ripped.

Amazingly, it's one of many common issues with that generation of Elantra when exposed to climates where salt is used on roads (in this case, Chicago)

You can engineer something all you want, but if its made with crap material, it's going to be a crap product.

RE: No thanks...
By rudy on 12/31/2009 12:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think lots of people why is it that humans seem utterly incapable of noticing obvious trends. A country rises produces a cheap industry of which companies develop into fast growing companies and eventually have a good name for themself. Korea is just the same as Japan it is only 10 - 20 years behind. After that we will probably see the Chinese take their position.

RE: No thanks...
By lucyfek on 12/31/2009 12:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
they do it the copy paste way,
unfortunately this works only for visuals - they never seems to get the mpgs adequate to the size of their vehicles (visuals also seem a bit off, compared to originals)

RE: No thanks...
By Brandon Hill on 12/31/2009 12:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
unfortunately this works only for visuals - they never seems to get the mpgs adequate to the size of their vehicles


Hyundai Tops the EPA’s 2009 CAFE Results

While a struggling economy has delivered a devastating gut-punch to most of the auto industry, Hyundai has been a stand-out over the past year with a relatively steady stream of progress and positive news. The Korean automaker has just received one more reason to smile—the results of the EPA’s 2009 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) reports—proclaiming it the most fuel-efficient auto manufacturer in the U.S.

Taking the top spot with an overall fuel economy average of 30.1 mpg—making it the only manufacturer in the report to surpass 30 mpg—Hyundai bests the traditional leaders Honda (29.7 mpg), Volkswagen (29.6 mpg), and Toyota (29.4 mpg). Meanwhile, holding down the bottom of the list are Ford (25.7), GM (24.5), and Chrysler (23.2).

Set to be unveiled at the L.A. auto show this week, the 2011 Sonata—with the company’s new direct-injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine—and the redesigned Tucson are expected to only improve on Hyundai’s current fuel-economy average.

RE: No thanks...
By MonkeyPaw on 1/1/2010 10:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
We own a 2008 Spectra 5 and have been very happy with it so far. It's actually been the best cold-start vehicle I've ever owned. On days when it's in the single digits, the car starts like it's 75F. I know it's not just the battery, since my newer Fusion doesn't do nearly as well. I know that's not end-all proof, but it's a good start. I guess we'll see how it goes in the long term, but my mother-in-law has an older Kia that has been beat to death (she even hit the house with it once), and it still runs like a champ.

RE: No thanks...
By NordicNINE on 1/1/2010 11:19:43 PM , Rating: 3
My wife has bought a 2006 Kia Spectra 3 years back and it has worked flawlessly, and gets great gas mileage.

I was looking for a new car earlier this year and was looking at many and ended up getting a Kia Soul. It was roomier, had better gas mileage, was cheaper, had better options, and had a much better warranty than the Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Toyota options I was looking at. I have 10 years bumper to bumper with road side assistance (it was only a little more) for much less than the closest competitor. Couple that with the fact that the Soul was designed in California, and Kia just built a new plant in the US, Kia/Hyundai are more made in the USA than most GM, Ford, Chrysler cars. I realize that the first batches were made in Korea, but most future Kia's will be built in the US.
Also an even bigger bonus was that since the safety ratings on the Soul are very good, it's significantly cheaper for insurance than the other cars too. It's even cheaper than my wife's Spectra. :-)

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