Kia recently launched the 2023 facelift of the Seltos, one of its most popular cars in India. The mid-sized SUV offers an impressive balance of power and comfort, making it just as well suited to the city as on the highway for longer drives. Apart from a refreshed look, the Kia Seltos (2023) also comes with a new set of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Level 2 features, meant to make the driving experience a lot safer and less stressful for the driver and other passengers.
I had a chance to drive the new Kia Seltos (2023), and also checked out the different ADAS features on offer. While some of these were demonstrated by trained drivers from Kia in safe environments, some of the other more subtle assistance features could be seen in action even when driving along in the city and on the highway.
What is ADAS Level 2?
An Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) is a set of technologies designed to assist drivers of vehicles in various driving and parking functions, with a view to enhancing safety and ease of driving. Depending on the level of features, ADAS can automate certain functions and take partial control of the vehicle in order to improve road safety and avoid collisions and other accidents.
ADAS features are typically standardised into different levels ranging from 1 to 5, where level 1 offers some hands-on, shared control between the driver and vehicle, and level 5 is fully autonomous in driving. The Kia Seltos (2023) has ADAS Level 2 features, which suggests that certain autonomous functionality is ‘hands-off’ and will kick in even without driver intervention. Other functionality serves either to alert the driver to risks, or provides gentle physical feedback to ensure that the driver is attentive towards areas that need it.
ADAS Level 2 functions on the Kia Seltos (2023)
The Kia Seltos (2023) features 17 ADAS functions with varying degrees of autonomy and functionality, ranging from warnings to full interventions by the vehicle. Fortunately, these can be toggled on or off as needed, which might be necessary as some of these can be a bit daunting and somewhat trigger-happy in unpredictable Indian road conditions, or even annoying for more experienced drivers. The more subtle features are the ones you’ll find yourself at ease with.
Among the 17 ADAS Level 2 functions on the Kia Seltos (2023) are collision warning systems for the front and the blind spots — these will alert the driver if the car senses an impending collision at the front, or at the side of the car. An example of the latter was demonstrated by Kia, where opening one of the doors while a vehicle was approaching close along the side triggered a loud warning alert in the Kia Seltos.
There are also collision avoid assist functions as part of the feature set. When these are active, the Kia Seltos (2023) is able to autonomously exercise control over the vehicle’s operation in specific scenarios. This includes applying the brakes if a stationary obstacle is detected ahead, or halting the car when an obstacle or vehicle is detected in the driver’s blind spots, such as when reversing, exiting a parking space into active traffic, or turning at a junction. You can, of course, choose where you prefer warnings over active assistance.
Other milder autonomous interventions on the Kia Seltos (2023) include Lane Keep Assist and Lane Following Assist which adjust the steering autonomously to maintain lane driving on the highway, smart cruise control where the speed of the car varies according to the vehicle ahead (when following), leading vehicle departure alert (when the car you’re following is exiting a highway or carriageway), high beam assist, and driver attention warning (perhaps the most annoying and least ‘smart’ of the features).
Apart from the ADAS features, the Kia Seltos has some other premium features that add to the overall safety and driving experience as well. These include rain sensing wipers (operating automatically depending on rain intensity), automatic headlights (turn on or off depending on lighting conditions), and tire pressure monitoring, where the car displays the current tire pressure and alerts the driver of any anomalies such as reduced pressure in any tires.