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People's Car Project concepts showcased

Wed, 02 May 2012

Volkswagen is currently showcasing three of its vehicle and technology concepts created under the ‘People's Car Project' at this year's Beijing auto show.

The Hover Car, the Music Car and the Smart Key concepts – created by users of the website, which has seen 33 million visitors – are just three of more than 119,00 ideas submitted, leading the project to be indefinitely extended as Volkswagen uses the findings to influence its future design strategy.

The ‘Hover Car' is an environmentally friendly two-seater city car that, unsurprisingly, hovers above the ground. Using the Hover Car concept the automaker is studying how a zero-emissions vehicle could travel using electromagnetic roads in the future.

Simon Loasby, Head of Design at Volkswagen Group China, said: "The creative ideas from the ‘People's Car Project' give us a valuable insight into the wishes of Chinese drivers. The trend is towards safe cars that can easily navigate overcrowded roads and have a personal, emotional and exciting design."

The ‘Music Car' is equipped with organic LEDs that see the exterior color of the car change according to the music the driver is playing. The fact that the younger generation of Chinese drivers has submitted this indicates how a car symbolizes individuality, self-expression and taste.

The ‘Smart Key' is the last concept developed as part of the PCP that illustrates the continuing integration of different online technologies. The 9mm key features a touchscreen that displays information about fuel, climate, and security via 3G. Realtime satellite imagery means the driver is also provided with a bird's eye view of the car.

Luca de Meo, Director of Marketing, Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, said: "We are no longer just building cars for, but also with customers and at the same time initiating a national dialog which gives us a deep insight into the design preferences, needs and requirements of Chinese customers."

A new ‘People's Car Project' phase is set to be launched within the next few month in which users can submit design, personalization and connectivity ideas as well as suggestions about the environment. The PCP online community will then evaluate the drafts before experts assess the concepts and award the winning designs.

Felix Somerville-Scharf, Head of New Mobility at Volkswagen New Mobility Services Investment, gave delegates at our recent CDN-Interior Motives China conference – held two days prior to the Beijing auto show – a sneak preview of the concepts ahead of their launch.

By Rufus Thompson