Niro Automatic Features vs. Kona

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by Toolworker, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. Online discussion of the Kona's automatic features cite a number of flaws. I'm deciding between these two vehicles and wondering if the Niro has any of these issues.

    Problems reported on the Kona EV in that thread include:
    • Lane Keeping Assist and Warning:
      • Too restrictive. It tries to keep the Kona on a narrow track rather than accepting most of the lane.
      • Sometimes gets confused when lane expands to include an exit lane.
      • Assist uses too much force on the steering wheel. Have to fight it to override.
      • Warning beep is the same sound as other warnings. Hard to know what it's alerting to.
    • Adaptive Cruise Control:
      • Can pulse when temporarily holding a speed substantially above the set speed, particularly in sport mode.
      • Doesn't brake soon enough when heading toward stopped traffic.
    • Forward collision prevention: Can jam brakes on prematurely.
    Does the Niro have any of these issues?
  3. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    KIA and Hyundai share EV software platforms and much of the hardware as well (motors, transmissions, battery design, etc). As a result, you're not going to find much difference regarding these issues. I've observed the same on my Niro EV. Scanning through the international forums, it does appear that Hyundai at least offers some software updates through their dealers to address some bugs while there have been zero updates for the KIA (outside of updated navigation maps). Unfortunately, I don't think any of the updates addressed the issues you're referring to.
  4. These features are related to SAE J3016 Level 2 autonomous driving and are not specifically EV issues. Perhaps Hyundai and Kia also share sensor suites and autonomous driving software. Do you know that this is the case?
  5. Apparently some find the Kona's LKA strong enough to be dangerous. One of the posts in that Kona thread reported, "The other day my wife was ascending the mountain and swung out wide to give some cyclists the 1 metre clearance you are required by law to give them, but before she realised what was happening the LKA was forcing her back toward them and in the end, disaster was only narrowly avoided."
  6. niro525

    niro525 Member

    The Niro LKA gives plenty of wiggle room in keeping centered in the lane. It feels like there is a wide band that the LKA keeps the car in. The Niro's LKA is not too restrictive.

    I find it comfortable that the Niro does not aggressively keep the car centered in the lane. It uses gentle force to keep the car in the lane. I feel I can overpower the automation easily. The engineers errored on the side of the driver knowing what is safe. I feel that was a good design choice for exactly the situations you cited with the Kona. The driver needs to fight the situation, not the car.

    The SCC does get confused in lane spliting into two lanes and when passing freeway exits. It's occasional, but not every time. I tend to pull the car away from those problem spots so the car camera does not detect the lane split. That seems to help. Again, if the car does get confused and veers towards the wrong lane, it is easy to overpower the wheel and correct the Niro. I feel comfortable knowing and handling these fringe cases.

    The sounds I'm not sure of, in case I haven't heard all the situational sounds. I feel the beeps are context specific. The beep for blind spot warning only happens when I trigger the turn signal. If I hear the beep without the turn signal and I see I'm close to the edge of the lane, it means the LKW is telling me to get to the center of the lane.

    ACC pulsing or accelerating too fas can be controlled in settings. I don't have the menu in front of me at the moment. I think it's called ACC reaction time. I detailed it in another post on this forum. The setting should be set to Slow. That makes the acceleration feel more comfortable in the situation you describe.

    The Niro's automatic braking feels concerning because it is very exact. In my testing I found the Niro applies the exact amount of braking needed to keep the distance set. It doesn't feel like a comfortable speed, nor distance, but it works exactly. In those situations I keep my foot on the brake or take control and manually slow.
  7. 95% of the time when that sucker beeps at me when I flip on the turn signal I already know there is a car there and I end up muttering to the firmament "I know, I know." I would love a feature, perhaps a button on the turn signal arm, that switches that beep off for that one activation of the turn signal. Ever since my year and a half of commuting on a motorcycle I have become very disciplined about visually checking for vehicles near me before changing lanes. I don't want to deactivate it completely because sometimes it is providing useful and important information. I just don't want to have to listen to it for several seconds when it is superfluous .
    niro525 likes this.
  8. ITown

    ITown Member

    I completely disabled LKA because the wheel adjustments were more annoying than helpful (i.e. steering me into construction cones), and the beep were more startling than useful. If I'm not in my lane completely, there's always a good reason for it.

    Smart Cruise Control definitely has issues if it does not sense a car ahead of it. That's when I am most likely to have to disable SCC to take over control.
  9. I feel like LKA kicks in more when SCC is on. Not sure. I have not had it steer me OUT of a lane yet, just cuts off around exits, and one time I am not sure it would have kept the curve on an exit ramp.
  10. TheHellYouSay

    TheHellYouSay Member

    I feel like sort of an idiot, buying a car and not fully understanding how it works...

    I have been reading the manuals, but I might still be confused. I definitely get "beeps" when I've wandered towards a lane line. The graphic with the car between two lines is displayed and I just read that it will flash the left or right line depending on which side you've encroached upon. However, the car never steers me back towards center UNLESS I have it using cruise control.

    When on cruise control, the little green steering wheel presents on the instrument panel and I definitely can tell that it is helping me, so that must be the only time that LKA is in effect, when you're using SCC?

    At any rate, I concur with Niro525's observation - if I feel corrections are necessary that contradict what the LKA wants to do, I find that the car isn't fighting me at all. It is a very light touch...

    I agree as well with the blind side detection beeps. The way the traffic is around here, you're almost always going to have to make aggressive lane changes, so the beeps come on loud and strong when I hit the blinker. I could turn it off around town, or worse yet, stop using my blinker, but I really feel that it might someday save me from cutting off somebody, which is always uber embarrassing.
  11. Then I am an idiot too, but I am not, so neither are you. Going from a 2005 Prius, it is a big change in capabilities and settings to control them. Only natural that it will take some time to figure out.

    Even with SCC off, the LKA indicator will turn green when the computer is happy with the sensor data (and presumably when the driver is not steering against what it wants too much.) When that goes green, it should do the steering thing. I feel like it kicks in when SCC is turned on sometimes even when NEITHER icon is green, but that could be my imagination. Have not really put it to the test.

    Preach it. I aim to keep mine on because it feels worth it for the time it finally goes off and I DIDN'T know someone was there.
  12. niro525

    niro525 Member

    @TheHellYouSay I'm still reading the manual months later and still learning about this car. I'm glad everyone here is very detailed at experimenting with the Niro's settings.

    You said the car doesn't autosteer when close to the lane line. Try going into the Settings > Driver Assistance > Lane Keep Assist. Your settings sound like it's on Lane Warning Assist. In my experience, Lane Warning Assist bleeps and doesn't apply torque to the steering wheel. Lane Keep Assist is the setting that applies torque to the steering wheel to steer the car away from the lane edge.
  13. Moving up from a Volt LT, I would have had to spend two days at the dealership to understand everything. BTW, I still don't after nearly a week.
  14. ITown

    ITown Member

    After I bought my Niro, I read through basically the entire manual. There's a lot of neat stuff you can do with the car once you know how it works. There are a couple of youtube videos out there, but probably would be good if there were a few more.
  15. CR EV

    CR EV Member

    I don't have a problem with lane keeping or adaptive cruise in the Niro...both are great.
  16. niro525

    niro525 Member

    Yeah, I feel like some owner made YouTube guide videos would go a long way to help out. Maybe the EVloution guy could do some videos to help the community. We could compile tips that can be used as content. It would certainly help people on the fence or new owners feel more comfortable with the Niro.
  17. Robert Lewis

    Robert Lewis Member

    I have experienced these things in the Niro, however I just chalk it up to understanding how the automatic features react in certain situations. For example, on your second point regarding LKA (which is the only real 'issue' I've experienced with that feature) - I can now anticipate this, and know that I will need to intervene when lanes split/expand. With ACC, the main one I've experienced is the second point - which I now anticipate when approaching stopped or significantly slower moving traffic. Otherwise, both features work very well for me. After driving the Niro for about two weeks, I was able to get a really good sense for how it reacted using the automatic features in just about any situation. I still use those features everyday, and really enjoy how much easier it makes my commute.
  18. There is something oxymoronic about automatic safety features that require me to know how to protect myself against them. Using ACC, I should be able to relax at my usual level of traffic awareness, but I find myself tenser watching for the situations it mishandles (having now experienced one ACC brake lockup) than if I were using normal cruise control or none at all. Perhaps I will acclimate to my Kona, but it's not right.

    Even scarier was when I was in an exit lane with slowing traffic comfortably ahead. I barely touched the brake pedal with no sense of urgency. The collision avoidance system (I presume) braked sharply, causing the vehicle behind to jam on its brakes and skid. There is no way I could anticipate this situation; it felt completely normal.

    I wonder if the automatic systems of other manufacturers have similar issues. From other Hyundai forums, it appears to be a consistent issue in other models as well as the Kona.
  19. Robert Lewis

    Robert Lewis Member

    I guess it's just a matter of perspective. I don't look at it as 'protecting myself against automatic features'. These features are not full auto-pilot - full awareness is always necessary. However, I've really only experienced the two scenarios I mentioned, which are very easy to see coming and account for. I've not experienced any weirdness with brake lockup or anything that made me feel tense or uneasy.
  20. I have a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek and its driver assist features (they call it EyeSight) are much, much more precise than my Kona. I have NEVER had it brake prematurely and its ACC works much better. There are several parameters you can set to match your driving style, and it works very well in stop and go freeway traffic. It does not wait until the last second to brake when the car in front slows, and will accelerate quickly to keep up with traffic, not allowing people to cut in front of you. And it will not pulse when driving up the set speed as when passing, etc.

    The difference is that Subaru uses dual stereo cameras and has been refining their systems for 7 years or more. Hyundai/Kia is still pretty new at this, and has a way to go to make it better. I have just had to adapt accordingly when driving my Kona.
    Toolworker likes this.

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