Volkswagen - 4fun Concept
The People’s Car Project
What Is The People’s Car Project?
Volkswagen launched The People’s Car Project at Auto Shanghai in 2011, opening a dialogue with the Chinese people about the future of auto innovation. Leveraging the most innovative social and digital technologies, Volkswagen built The People’s Car Project website (www.zaoche.cn), where China’s netizens could design and share ideas for future cars. The results exceeded all expectation with over 34 million site visits, 376,000 registered users, and 210,000 auto innovation ideas shared. Meanwhile, more than 480,000 joined the conversation on The People’s Car Project microblogs.
The Chinese people’s incredible innovativeness and originality, as seen in the high quality of ideas shared on The People’s Car Project, continually impressed Volkswagen. To thank the millions of Chinese people who participated in The People’s Car Project, Volkswagen decided to integrate their most exciting auto innovation ideas, as well as trends in what they desired for tomorrow’s cars, into one concept design: “The People’s Car”.
Debut of “The People’s Car” at Auto Shanghai 2013
“The People’s Car”, unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2013, represents the culmination of The People’s Car Project, proudly displaying the striking originality of China’s netizens in one cutting-edge concept design. With it, Volkswagen has truly moved from designing cars for the people to designing cars with the people.
To create The People’s Car, Volkswagen carefully analyzed the more than 210,000 auto innovation ideas shared on The People’s Car Project, identifying trends in what users desired and highlighting the most promising ideas. These trends and ideas were shared with teams of university students, who competed to consolidate the ideas into one “The People’s Car” design, as documented in The People’s Car Project’s “Build The Car” video series. The winning design was submitted by Tsinghua University’s “4 Fun” team and refined by Volkswagen Design in China, with input from China’s creative leaders like pop singer Zhou Bichang and film director Jia Zhangke. “The People’s Car” celebrates the wonderful originality of the Chinese people and their vision for what the future of auto innovation may bring to China.
Features of “The People’s Car” Design
Carrying out The People’s Car Project dialogue with the Chinese people has brought Volkswagen even closer to the Chinese people, giving Volkswagen keen insights into what the Chinese people desire for their cars: greater expressivity, safety, connectivity, mobility, and environmental sustainability. These aspirations for future auto innovation, as well as many of the creative ideas shared, have been brought together in “The People’s Car”:
- A seven-seat fashionable family car for the future – The seven-seat concept was selected because it represents the full Chinese family: two parents, one child, and four grandparents. Seats are suspended from the ceiling and can rotate around the car to be positioned like a traditional van or even like a family’s living room.
- Plug-in hybrid power SUV-MPV with solar-panel roof – Environmental sustainability and greater mobility were popular trends in what users imagined for future cars. “The People’s Car” achieves zero-emissions driving in electric mode and can be charged through wireless inductive charging or by its solar-power roof.
- Enhanced expressivity and personalization – The exterior boasts colour-changing paint, reflecting what users want on a particular day. Meanwhile, an LED display transforms the front into a face that can express the emotions of the driver. Mood lighting alters the interior ambience with cold blues or warm yellows, even disco lights. Oversized gull-wing doors make for perfect shelter while on outings in the countryside.
- Greater safety and auto-drive – Just speak the name of your destination and “The People’s Car” auto-drive function will safely take you there. Meanwhile, the car-to-car connection keeps it at a safe distance from nearby vehicles. It even has an air filter to ensure that all passengers are breathing clean, healthy air.
- Seamless connectivity and augmented reality – Augmented-reality windows can tell passengers about the area they’re driving through, or even point out the perfect dinner destination. The car can even post directly to Weibo or connect to traffic networks to make sure passengers skip the traffic jams and get where they’re going on time.
The People’s Love of Innovation Continues …
The success of The People’s Car Project continues to impress all at Volkswagen with the extraordinary originality and innovativeness of the Chinese people. While “The People’s Car” marks the last chapter in this part of The People’s Car Project’s story, Volkswagen will continue the conversation about Chinese innovation and originality on The People’s Car Project Sina Weibo (www.weibo.com/vwzizao). In sharing ideas with the Chinese people for tomorrow’s innovations, Volkswagen is also able to respond quickly to the desires of the Chinese people and work together to more quickly innovate technologies and ideas that will transform that roads of tomorrow.