Some people might have heard about a thing called “crowd sourcing,” where input is sought for some project from anyone who might have something to say. Not only could crowdsourced car design work, it’s already being done.
Ask Local Motors how crowdsourced car design works
The Internet is really, really great. For porn!
Sorry. Had to be done.
The world wide web, a series of tubes invented by Al Gore, is also good for connecting people the world over, with a diverse array of outlooks and knowledge. In some cases, such as Facebook, they come together to forget the difference between “their” and “they’re,” which an idiot can figure out, on a global scale. In other cases, they get stuff done.
There’s a thing called “crowd sourcing,” where denizens of the interwebs are solicited for ideas or help. A subset is “crowd funding,” where people throw money into an online kitty as loans or donations. Crowd-sourcing design of various things is being done all the time. But could crowdsourced car design work?
That’s exactly what Local Motors, producers of the Rally Fighter did, according to Boston.com.
Spendy but totally awesome
The Rally Fighter has been around for a while; Boston.com’s article is almost four years old. The company is going strong. Each vehicle is made to customer spec and they aren’t cheap; according to the Local Motors website, it costs $99,000. About 60 have been sold by Dec. 2012, according to BusinessInsider.
It was designed by Sangho Kim, according to Popular Mechanics, an art student from the Art Center College of Design in California. He won a contest for the design, which was based on the P-51 Mustang fighter plane. He got $10,000 for the winning submission.
It’s classified as a kit or component car, so you have to build it yourself. Local Motors has Micro Factory locations around the country, where customers go to help put it together. Granted, that $99,000 includes air travel to the factory, hotel and shuttling to the facility.
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The car is powered by a Chevrolet LS3, the 6.2-liter V-8 in the Corvette. It makes 430 horsepower that goes, naturally, to the back. It’s street-legal, but it’s built for off-roading. It’s even gone on the Baja 1000.
The big boys
Granted, Local Motors crowdsourced car design is just a boutique example. The big boys are doing it too. You might one day be getting, say, Carmax auto finance for a crowd-sourced vehicle.
French automaker Peugeot has been holding what it calls the Peugeot Design Contest since 2003, according to CNET. Designers submit designs, finalists are picked and people can vote on the winner, which might eventually reach production.
Fiat took submissions in 2009 and 2010, according to Wired UK, for an electric city car, which was called the Fiat Mio, the concept of which was shown off at the 2010 Sao Paulo Auto Show.
BMW opened a design contest in Sept. 2012, taking design submissions from Local Motors’ developers – of which there are 30,000 online – for a city car concept, according to AutoBlog. It may end up the successor to the pending i3, as it’s scheduled for production in 2025.
Semi-truck company Peterbilt announced a crowdsource design contest, according to Wired. The company allowed designers to submit designs for an aerodynamic, more fuel-efficient big-rig in June and July of 2012.
Nissan, according to AutoBlog, took submissions in Aug. 2012 for the 370Z, a bigger brother to the 350Z. Nissan put the suggestions to use and produced one as a concept.
Some say the Rally Fighter was on Top Gear U.S.
Wired UK: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-08/18/fiat-mio