Last week at CES 2019, Kia showcased an experimental system that tracks passengers' state of mind by monitoring facial expressions, heartbeat and other biomarkers. The futuristic fun didn't stop there, however, as the automaker also unveiled an electric-assist pedal car that could find use in the smart cities of tomorrow.
Known as the SEED Car, the four-wheel-drive vehicle is pedalled by its driver, with a motor providing "a high degree of electric power assistance to make it effortless." Although very little else was available in the way of specs, it is claimed to have an electric-assist range of 100 km (62 miles).
The idea is that the SEED would be carried aboard a larger autonomous shuttle vehicle, called the BIRD Car. The latter would cover distances too far for the former to be pedalled, such as highway trips between cities.
Upon getting to within 100 km of its destination, however, the BIRD would release the SEED, with the rider pedalling it the rest of the way and back on their own. In this way, city streets would be less congested with large highway-capable vehicles, which would instead be parked outside of urban centers.
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