Kia has embraced the idea of autonomous vehicles to an extreme degree. At the 2016 SEMA Show, they revealed several of their cars in various driverless configurations, ranging from a mobile recording studio, miniature mobile theater, and even a vehicle specialized for triathletes. If you want to live the autonomous lifestyle, Kia is ready to entertain the possibilities.
The Niro Triathlon is based off of the brand new 2017 Kia Niro and was built around the triathlon athlete. These types of endurance events push human bodies to their most extreme, and that's just in training. LGE-CTS Motorsports built the Triathlon and it includes a custom bike rack, toolbox, and tablet computer mounted on the outside for the Felt IA 2 road bike. Most interestingly, it's designed to lead the rider and light the way with an ONEU safety laser LED. The tablet allows the rider to monitor and track his distance, speed, and time without having to get off the bike. The B-pillars were also removed to make getting in and out of the Niro a little easier and faster for the athlete, while a Human Touch zero gravity ergonomic reclining chair allows he or she to relax. Custom cabinets hold essential supplies, attire, and parts, while a portable shower allows for a quick post-race cleanup.
LGE-CTS also produced the School of Rock mobile studio that is based on the Kia Sedona. The driver's side B-pillar was removed while the passenger side is permanently shut. This allows ease of access for those who want to do a recording inside the van. Yes, there is a full recording suite inside, with boom mic, foam panels, digital mixing board, and dual flat-screen monitors to record tracks. Front-mounted near-field speakers provide monitoring and the "RECORDING" light illuminates outside to let people know a session is in progress. It even provides a way to allow a gig to happen outside with amps taking up the lift gate space. Storage of band equipment is done via custom roof rack.
If you ever wanted that first-class flight experience while you were on the ground, then the Kia Soul First Class would be your pick. This Soul was built by LUX Motorwerx and was designed for business travelers to work and relax to out-of-town meetings, or just to get around in general. Since you don't need a steering wheel, gear selector, or traditional dashboard, the First Class revamps the front with a pair of rear-facing forward seats and a 40-inch Samsung LED TV connected to a Mac mini computer system with premium audio speakers throughout. A custom center console houses two tablets that pop out and control the Soul.
Autonomous vehicles are coming and Kia has embraced them with open arms and minds. Each of these vehicles showcases the possibilities of driving without human control. Why design a car with normal car ergonomics and design when you can design it to fit the needs you have? Autonomous cars aren't going to be the love of anyone in the performance car world, but it certainly will be an interesting future for everyone else.