Automotive technology at CES helps you keep tabs on your teens while driving your car

LAS VEGAS - I went to a consumer electronics show and an auto show broke out! That's the running joke at CES this year but it's accurate. The automotive section seems to grow every year with all the major auto companies making their presence known.

"This is the week of the Detroit Auto Show yet you walk down the aisle and see Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Ford, GM," said Jim Barry, Consumer Electronics Association spokesman.

Kia introduced the second version of its smart radio, the UVO 2. It does much more than just crank the tunes in your car. It has all the things you would expect; MP3 playback, bluetooth, navigation, etc. There's also a smartphone app to go along with it that helps you track your car's diagnostics. When a check engine light pops on the dash, the UVO 2 can help you understand exactly what's wrong with your car. It'll even dial roadside assistance for you. Lose your car in the mall parking lot? UVO 2 has you covered.

"The system will save the location and guide you back to your car," said Henry Bzeih, head of Infotainment & Telematics for Kia.  

Parents will love the features that allow them to set up speed limits, curfews and geo-fences. If your teen breaks those limits, it won't stop the car but it will keep track of it. Parents will always know if their teens were speeding, out late or too far away from home.

"These types of features are something that parents want so we listened and we brought this to life," Bzeih added.

Look for UVO 2 in Kia vehicles soon.

Kia was also showing off a concept dashboard. It uses an LCD instead of an instrument panel. Sure, it shows speed and mileage but it can change based on what you're doing. There's even a camera built into the steering wheel. It'll recognize when you take your eyes off the road or when you start to fall asleep and alert you.  

Mercedes-Benz had a concept on display that replaces the entire dash with a giant screen from one end of the car to the other. It uses gestures. For example, wave your hand in a certain way and your music will start playing.  

That may be years, if not decades, away but Nextbase has a product that will be available in a few months. It's called Face Off. It's a standard car radio that converts into an iPod docking station with the push of a button. The face literally recedes back into itself making room for your iPod or iPhone to sit right in the center. It will sell for $300.

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