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Autonomous Kia Sorento Shows Up With Tank Treads at SEMA Show

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author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2016

Have you ever found yourself stranded on the top of a snowy mountain, waiting for help to arrive amid inhospitable terrain only reachable by a vehicle equipped with tank treads? Well, fear no more -- because Kia is clearly on the case.

Behold, the Kia Sorento Ski Gondola Concept, which is probably the strangest manufacturer vehicle at this year's SEMA show -- unless you count the 2,000-horsepower Toyota Land Cruiser. The Sorento Ski Gondola is fully autonomous, and in place of tires it features rubber ski tracks from a company called Dominator. This is appropriate because this Sorento will be dominating the slopes.

Why did Kia create this weird vehicle? Two reasons. One is, of course, to turn heads. SEMA is all about turning heads, to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if Kia showed up at next year's SEMA with a vehicle that was part-Sorento and part-Zamboni.

Number two: because Kia is trying to warm people up to the idea of its upcoming autonomous technology -- and so the Sorento Ski Gondola Concept was one of several autonomous cars they showed off at SEMA. The rest of Kia's autonomous fleet was comprised of the School of Rock Sedona, with a digital mixing board in back, the Soul First Class, with recliners in place of normal seats, and the Niro Triathlon, which is designed to help a triathlete train for racing.

Unfortunately, the Kia Sorento Ski Gondola probably won't make its way to dealerships near you -- but if you ever find yourself stranded on a mountain, you'll at least know that Kia has you in mind.

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Autonomous Kia Sorento Shows Up With Tank Treads at SEMA Show - Autotrader