Kia introduces ‘Virtual Test Drive’ for Venga MPV

Published | 08/04/2010

Augmented reality application on Facebook bridges gap between online and reality Virtual Test Drive is available in multiple European countries

Consumers in five countries across Europe can now take the new and uniquely spacious Kia Venga MPV for a virtual test drive in the comfort of their home. Kia is introducing its innovative ‘Virtual Test Drive’ on Facebook sites in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and France – five countries which accounted for 45% of Kia’s new sales in Europe last year.

After logging on to Facebook, potential Venga ‘drivers’ first download a sporty replica of the car’s steering wheel, as a PDF document, and print it. The steering wheel consists of two halves – the front half which incorporates a ‘tracking marker’ is directed to the user’s webcam, while the back half with an image of the leather-trimmed Kia Venga steering wheel, is facing the driver.

The camera identifies the alignment points of the tracking marker and then monitors the steering inputs made by the ‘driver’. The coordinates are processed within the 3D flash application and the 3D test track images created this way are generated in real-time mode using augmented reality technology. This ensures that within the virtual test drive, it is possible to simulate different speeds – the closer the driver holds the wheel towards the camera, the faster he or she drives.

“Introducing the ‘Virtual Test Drive’ for Venga is an exciting development for Kia, which gives people the opportunity to experience our latest MPV model and also have some fun,” comments Benny Oeyen, Vice President Marketing and Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe. “I’m sure this virtual test drive will bring consumers to our dealer showrooms eager to sample the car both in real-time and the real world.”

Kia’s new Facebook application was developed by the Munich-based interactive agency H2OMEDIA. 


“By introducing this virtual world project, H2OMEDIA bridges the gap between reality and a virtual computer environment,” explains Markus Nikowitsch, management board member of H2OMEDIA.  “Once again, our agency has developed an innovative idea and implemented it in a technically appealing and successful way.  We are convinced that all Kia fans will love and enjoy the new application on Facebook.” 


Kia’s new ‘Virtual Test Drive’ featuring the Venga MPV is available at: 

http://www.facebook.com/Kiaaustria  

http://www.facebook.com/Kiaitalia  

http://www.facebook.com/Kiamotorsiberia

http://www.facebook.com/Kia.fr  

http://www.facebook.com/Kiadeutschland

Editors’ Notes 

H2OMEDIA
Founded in 1998, H2OMEDIA (www.h2omedia.de) is an agency for interactive communication which develops the appropriate concepts and creative content as well as tailored business applications for leading international companies and brands.  A winner of numerous awards and prizes, the agency counts many national and international companies, such as Kia, Hyundai, Adidas, Microsoft, Daimler, Sixt and Deutsche Post, among its clients. 

Kia Motors Europe 
Kia Motors Europe is the European sales, marketing, and service arm of Kia Motors Corporation.  With its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, it covers 25 markets in Europe. 

About Kia Motors Corporation 
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles.  As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands.  
Over 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced at 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries. These vehicles are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. 
Kia today has more than 42,000 employees and annual revenues of almost US$14.6 billion.  It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup.
Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan – ‘The Power to Surprise’ – represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation. 


Press Contact [ Kia Motors Europe ] 

Ilona Tzudnowski 
PR Manager Europe 
Tel.: +49 69 850 928 357 
E-mail: i.tzudnowski@kia-europe.com

Kia Motors Europe GmbH
Theodor-Heuss-Allee 11
60486 Frankfurt, Germany 

Press contact [ H2OMEDIA ]

Markus Nikowitsch
Board of Directors, Head of H2OMEDIA Studios 
Winzererstrasse 47d
D-80797 Munich 
Tel.: +49 89 307 668-113
E-mail: markus.nikowitsch@h2omedia.de

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Press Contacts

Vladislav Alexiev

Manager Product Communications

Phone: +4969850928354

E-mail: kme-press@kia-europe.com