In 2011, Volkswagen commenced its People's Car Project in China to create crowdsourced concepts of the VW of the future. More than 33 million people visited the site, and three concepts were created from the inputs: the Music Car, the Hover Car and the Smart Key.

The Music Car is a Beetle wrapped in LEDs that change colors to match the driver's choice of music. The Hover Car is a zero-emissions two-seater that, no surprise, hovers over electromagnetic road networks. The Smart Key is Big Brother for your car, in your pocket: the high-def touchscreen on the nine-millimeter key can track the status of your car and keep an eye on it via "satellite transmission."

The project is continuing, so you can still post your thoughts to VW's future. In the meantime there's a video and a couple of press releases below the fold for more on the story.




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'PEOPLE'S CAR PROJECT' INTERNET PLATFORM IS LAUNCHED IN CHINA TO DEVELOP THE 'VOLKSWAGEN' OF THE FUTURE

(24/05/11) -- Volkswagen is taking an entirely new approach to customer dialogue in China. From today, Chinese internet users can post their ideas about the car of the future on the "People's Car Project" (PCP) platform at www.zaoche.cn.

"Volkswagen has set out to create the most innovative dialogue platform ever with the 'People's Car Project'. The platform is debuting in China, because that is Volkswagen's largest and most important market. However, we also see potential for launching the project in other markets as well," Luca de Meo, Director of Marketing, Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, explained. PCP is initially scheduled to run for a one-year period.

Over 450 million people have access to the internet in China. These users are particularly interested in interactive content. The project reflects this demand. "We hope to involve people via the internet and inspire them for Volkswagen," de Meo commented. Internet users accessing the PCP page can click their way to co-developing their Volkswagen model of the future as well as posting ideas which are then discussed and developed further by other users. They can also upload images or films.

"With PCP we are listening very carefully to what our customers have to say and are building cars not only for, but also with people," Luca de Meo explains, adding that this gives Volkswagen a valuable insight into the wishes, needs and demands of Chinese customers.


CHINESE SHOWCASE CONCEPTS FOR THE VOLKSWAGEN OF THE FUTURE
'People's Car Project' presents first results at Auto China 2012 in Beijing


(02/05/12) -- Beijing/Wolfsburg, May 2, 2012: With 33 million visitors to the website and more than 119,000 ideas submitted, the 'People's Car Project' (PCP) launched in China 11 months ago has far exceeded all expectations. Three of the vehicle and technology concepts created by users of an online platform and further developed by Volkswagen are currently on show at Auto China 2012: These concepts are the Hover Car, the Music Car and the Smart Key.

With the Hover Car, an environmentally-friendly two-seater city car which hovers just above the ground, Volkswagen is presenting the study of a zero-emissions vehicle that could in future travel along electromagnetic road networks. 'The creative ideas from the 'People's Car Project' give us a valuable insight into the wishes of Chinese drivers,' Simon Loasby, Head of Design at Volkswagen Group China, said. 'The trend is towards safe cars that can easily navigate overcrowded roads and have a personal, emotional and exciting design.'

The 'Music Car' expresses the wish of many Chinese for individual automotive design. Equipped with organic light emitting diodes, the exterior colour of the vehicle changes with the driver's choice of music. More than ever, the car thus becomes a means of self-expression and a fashion statement for young drivers.

The 'Smart Key', also developed under the PCP and currently on show in Beijing, takes up the trend towards the stronger integration of online technologies in vehicles: the slim nine millimetre key has a high-resolution touchscreen which keeps the driver up to date on the fuel situation, climate conditions and the car's security via the 3G network. The driver can also monitor the vehicle from a bird's eye perspective through realtime satellite transmission.

'The 'People's Car Project' in China marks the beginning of a new era in automobile design', Luca de Meo, Director of Marketing, Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, commented. '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,' de Meo said.

Due to high demand and the exceptionally good quality of the contributions, the PCP, which was originally scheduled to run for one year, has been indefinitely extended. In addition, a new project phase will be launched during the coming months, when users will not only be able to submit their design, personalisation and connectivity ideas for tomorrow's mobility, but will also be able to contribute suggestions about the environment. The drafts will first be evaluated by the entire user community. In a second step, experts will then assess the concepts and award prizes to the winners.

'In a long-term context the findings of the 'People's Car Project' will influence Volkswagen's product strategy,' de Meo explained. 'The design of our models will, however, continue to reflect the tradition of the Volkswagen brand. If at some time in the future we are to produce a vehicle from the 'People's Car Project', it will be a combination of customers' opinions and brand tradition,' de Meo added.