Time to say goodbye to physical owner’s manuals?

Let’s be honest, not everyone takes the time to meticulously read through the owner’s manual of a vehicle from cover to cover. Aside from taking hours, it’s quite a hassle going through the pages just to know how the basic functions of how a vehicle works. At most, you will only be using the owner’s manual to check how often the car needs servicing, when there’s a problem with the vehicle, or when there’s a feature/symbol that you don’t know.

Fortunately, Kia is making it easier for us to go through the owner’s manuals. The South Korean automaker has teamed up with Google to launch the Kia Owner's Manual App, an AI-based owner’s manual developed in partnership with Google Cloud and Megazone.

Unlike the typical print-based owner’s manual, Kia’s app makes use of the smartphone camera instead. Drivers can use the app to quickly find information about individual features by simply pointing their phone's camera at a symbol.

For example, if a user scans the cruise control symbol on the steering wheel, the app will recognize it and display a video showcasing the detailed functions of the cruise control system. Aside from symbols on the buttons, the app can also recognize dashboard warning lights and display their different definitions.

Possibly one of the best features of Kia’s digital owner manual is that it isn’t limited to one vehicle. This allows the app to be compatible with any new Kia models with regards to recognizing the various symbols inside the vehicle. Furthermore, it comes with a search function, allowing owners to check out detailed information about the vehicle just like a standard printed owner’s manual.

“The Kia Owner's Manual App will offer a unique customer experience with our products. Kia drivers will be able to enhance the safety and convenience of ownership with the app, which provides easy and intuitive information on the various functions of their vehicle and our latest technologies,” said Eui-sung Kim, Vice President and Head of Global Dealer & Service of Kia Motors.

Kia says they will be rolling out the Kia Owner's Manual App in the second half of 2020, starting with new cars scheduled to be released worldwide.