‘People’s Car Project’ exceeded all expectations

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 3, 2012

The ‘People’s Car Project’ (PCP) has so far achieved much more than what was expected of it. Launched in China 11 months ago, the project has attracted 33 million visitors to the website and has received over 119,000 submissions of ideas so far. At Auto China 2012, three vehicle and technology concepts are shown -- the Hover Car, the Music Car and the Smart Key. These were the creations of the users of an online platform but Volkswagen further developed them. The Hover Car is a two-seater city car that hovers just above the ground. What Volkswagen presents is a zero-emissions vehicle that could move along electromagnetic road networks in the future. According to Simon Loasby, Head of Design at Volkswagen Group China, the creative ideas from the ‘People’s Car Project’ provide valuable insight into “the wishes of Chinese drivers.”

Loasby said that the trend is moving towards safe cars that have a design that’s personal, touching and exhilarating and that could be easily driven through congested roads. Meanwhile, the ‘Music Car’ fulfills the desire of many people in China for individual automotive design. The vehicle’s exterior has organic light emitting diodes, enabling the vehicle to change color when the driver changes the music. The car serves to be an excellent way to express oneself and may also be seen as a fashion statement. Then there’s the ‘Smart Key’, which was also created under the PCP and was displayed at the recent Beijing show.

It rides on the trend for the stronger integration of online technologies in vehicles. For example, the slim nine millimetre key has a high-resolution touchscreen that makes sure that the driver is updated on the fuel status, climate conditions and the car’s security through the 3G network. With the use of realtime satellite transmission, the driver could monitor the vehicle from a bird’s eye perspective. Luca de Meo, Director of Marketing, Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, said that the ‘People’s Car Project’ in China signals the start of a new era in automobile design. De Meo said that Volkswagen isn’t just building cars for its customers since it is now collaborating with them while it starts a national dialog that offers a profound insight into the design preferences and requirements of the Chinese market.

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