The last few years have seen a step-up in in-car telematics, with more connected systems than ever now available to drivers and their passengers.

Kia is currently developing its next generation of telematics, to expand on the first-gen UVO system found in its current 2012 range of cars. The new system will also be rolled out globally - the current UVO is limited to North America.

The next generation will take a leaf out of the iPhone's book and allow users to choose from a series of icons for different functions, and change screens by swiping a fingertip. Also in common with the current wave of smartphones, Kia owners will be able to download software applications via an app store.

The download functionality should also mean the system can receive software updates to keep up with the march of technology.

The next-gen UVO will offer the option of pairing with your smartphone, but this won't be mandatory and users without smartphones will still be able to enjoy all the system's functions. This includes voice-activation on all functions, a nod towards increased safety through reducing distractions. Safety has also been considered when restricting the video screen's functions when the vehicle is moving.

Despite the new system having been developed at Hyundai-Kia's joint research and development facility near Seoul, Hyundai will not be using the same telematics system as its Korean partner.

No announcement has been made on when the new system will debut.

[Wards Auto]