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Kia Teases Autonomous Soul, “School of Rock” Sedona Ahead of SEMA

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A glimpse at the rear-facing seats in the "First Class Soul" autonomous concept from Kia

A glimpse at the rear-facing seats in the “Soul First Class” autonomous concept from Kia

Kia always brings something delightfully offbeat to the SEMA aftermarket trade show, like the awesome “Beermobile” Sedona and ice cream truck Soul that the automaker displayed in 2014.

It looks like this year’s event, to be held next week in Las Vegas, will be no exception. Kia is promising to debut an autonomous Soul concept at the 2016 SEMA Show, as well as a custom School of Rock-themed Sedona minivan.

Here’s the teaser video for the “Soul First Class” concept, which envisions what a completely autonomous luxury vehicle may look like in the not-too-distant-future:


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Kia says it wants to have a fully autonomous vehicle on the road by 2030. Though this Soul concept isn’t actually self-driving, it comes with the kind of features one might expect to see 15 years from now, including rear-facing seats, a custom motorized center console with two tablets, and a 40-inch flat screen connected to premium-level speakers throughout the cabin.

It also very noticeably doesn’t feature a steering wheel.

It’s basically a very nice business meeting room on wheels, with luxurious and comfortable touches like white and grey leather surfaces with diamond stitching, along with a matching gray wood floor.

Kia is also teasing an autonomous School of Rock Sedona, inspired by the music education program of the same name, which is meant to act as a “rolling recording studio and gig van” for aspiring musicians:


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Kia ripped out the Sedona’s driver-side B-pillar, steering assembly, and gear selector to make room for a digital mixing board and dual flat-screen monitors for recording music. There is even a recording light mounted to the roof that comes on when the passengers/artists are laying down a new track. The video also shows Kia installing front-mounted near-field speakers that look pretty legit.

As for the seats? Actually, Kia decided to use beanbags. Which probably won’t win the minivan any safety awards, but it does sound pretty chill.