After a lovely delicious outdoor lunch at the Kia Gear Up Training Facility, every Kia Gear Up Global Ambassador took turns taking different safety courses from professional instructors on how to be a better driver under different road conditions. In order for us to go through these various drills, we were given different Kia vehicles to experience these different exercises.
Drill #1: Kia Rio – Using its backup camera to back-in to a tight parking spot without the use of the rear view mirrors
For my first drill, I was assigned with a cute, red Kia Rio 5dr hatchback (manual). The objective was to back-in the Kia Rio in tight parking space without using the rear view mirrors but solely rely on the use of the backup camera to park the car. An instructor was sitting on the passenger side and thankfully, he was there to provide me with guidance and he went through in details on how to interpret and read the backup camera. Just like many backup camera, I had to learn how to read the colour codes and the distance relative from the car with the side walls and the back of the parking space.
I got to admit that it was a bit difficult for me at first to rely solely on backing up the car with the backup camera, that’s because I usually rely heavily on turning my head and watch through the back window to back-in my car. And I rely heavily on the rear view mirrors with my own instinct. So, it took me a while at the beginning to fully trust the backup camera and trust that when it beats with an alert, it means the car is getting very close to the back wall. After a few tries, I got a hang of the backup camera and I parked the Kia Rio perfectly between two side walls without crashing them. That was a great experience and I learned to trust the new technology that Kia vehicles had to offer.
Drill #2: Kia Sportage – Accelerating and instant braking on wet road surface
For my second drill, I was assigned with a white Kia Sportage (manual), which was a beautifully designed SUV. Again, another friendly instructor sat beside me on the passenger side. Basically, in this drill, I was asked to accelerate the Sportage from a dead stop and quickly accelerate for quite a distance on the wet road and then he suddenly will ask me to stop the SUV instantly. The objective was that when the vehicle was moving in a high speed, the instructor wanted me to be able to apply sudden braking of the Sportage and be able to steer the car into the direction and angle that I would like the SUV to be stopped.
For the first try, I was skeptical on trusting the traction control and ABS brakes and all the other safety goodies as I just don’t normally get to stop in extreme road conditions to use these safety features. Furthermore, I didn’t really believe that I had the ability to be able to steer the SUV out of harm’s way. So, for my first try, my instant braking wasn’t as great as I would like. It took longer distance for the Sportage to be stopped and I stopped at the edge of the road, which wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to stop. However, after receiving the feedback from the instructor, we went for a second try. This time, I decided to give my trust to the technologies inside the Kia Sportage. After I accelerated the SUV, I quickly pressed the brakes on the wet surface and steered the SUV at a spot that I wanted it to stop. All the safety features were applied and the Kia Sportage put me into safety. That was impressive!
I had to admit that this safety drill was very helpful to me as I live in Toronto, Canada, we often experience rainy, snowy or icy road conditions. For me to experience it first hand on how to stop the vehicle to a safety spot surely would help me better prepared myself in the near future. Furthermore, this drill allowed me to get to know all the different standard safety features equipped in the Kia vehicles and got to feel and experienced how each safety feature works.
Drill #3: Drifting in slippery surface
The last drill for me was a fun and unique experience. I was assigned with the funky, Kia Soul (which was the same model that I was driving for my Texas road trip back in April). Again, an instructor sat beside me and demonstrated to me how to drift the Kia Soul using different manual gears, along with applying the right amount of braking power and when to lift the hand brake to do the stunt moves. Honestly, I had seen enough drifting and stunts on the Fast & Furious movie – Tokyo Drift, so it was cool that I got to try it myself.
The track was made with slippery surface, so when I accelerated, I could feel the wheels were trying to spin a little harder. We had to go through twist and turns through the pylons. At first, I was nervous and wasn’t sure exactly how I can accelerate the car, going through hard turns and meanwhile tapping the brakes and hand brake at the same time. It took me quite a few tries before I got a hang of it. I got to thank the instructor for his patience as I was trying to figure things out.
Overall MoVernie Experience:
All these drills were super fun but at the same time super helpful for our everyday driving. We live in different parts of the world with different driving conditions, so it was very useful to learn all the Kia’s latest technologies that are available in vehicles that are being sold to the public. Since we were going through all these drills in a closed and safe track courses, it gave us the freedom to make mistakes and to improve and learn from our mistakes. It was definitely a worthwhile exercise. Thank you Kia Motors!
And MoVernie is outta here!
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