Volkswagenlaunched the “People’s Car Project” (PCP) in China as an open-source online project where people can submit their ideas for the Volkswagen of the future. Eleven months later, 33 million visitors to the website and more than 119,000 ideas were submitted, and Volkswagen announced during the Auto China show last week three of the vehicle and technology concepts created by users.
Of particular interest to Volkswagen was the Hover Car concept which they made into the video above. The Hover Car is an environmentally-friendly two-seater city car which hovers just above the ground. Volkswagen proposes the zero-emissions vehicle could travel along electromagnetic road networks in the future.
The Megapixel is the evolution of last year’s Pixel concept and uses four in-wheel 10 kW motors and a 325 cc single cylinder petrol range-extending engine that generates 22 kW while charging the lithium ion phosphate battery. The result is a range of 900 km (559 miles) and an electric-only range of 87 km (54 miles).
The Megapixel has several other killer party tricks, including acutely turning wheels which give it a turning radius of just 2.8 meters (9.2 ft) and an inductive home charging system – park over the induction pad and it charges itself without needing to be plugged in. There’s also those very useful automatic double doors.
The Megapixel is a good looking little beastie, and was developed by Tata’s design centres in India, the UK and Italy. As a global car concept, this is both the company’s evolving idea of the ideal city car for global urban environments, and the one you’re most likely to see first if you don’t live in India.
Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile company, with enormous prospects. A few decades from now, India will be a superpower, with the world’s largest population having transitioned from bicycles to scooter and now aspiring to drive a car. India’s vehicle ownership ratios are currently the same as America’s were in 1912 – when the Model T Ford was top seller.
The electric city commuter vehicle looks like a winner from the get-go
Honda’s Micro Commuter Concept EV has heads-up display, social networking, advanced aerodynamics, seating for three (1+2 like the T25 and T27 city cars), luggage capacity, a customizable exterior and a fold-up electric bike for last mile transport
Mercedes Benz iconic smart fortwo was several decades ahead of its time when it was first conceived by Swatch in the late eighties. Now Honda’s Micro Commuter Concept looks like it will take the basic design and update it to the world of today, with advanced aerodynamics, seating for three (1+2) similar to Gordon Murray’s T25 and T27 city cars, luggage capacity, a customizable exterior and last mile transport in the form of an ingenious fold-up electric two-wheeler known as the Motor Compo.
Very little has been revealed by Honda in its pre Tokyo Motor Show press release, but the electric city commuter vehicle looks like a winner from the get-go. Studying the photos released with the press blurb suggests that the Micro Commuter Concept has seen plenty of time inside a wind tunnel to optimize its aerodynamics for the low to medium speed range of urban roads.
The four wheels are enclosed and even the passenger protection cell has been shaped in such a way as to leave the air as undisturbed as possible. It has not escaped Honda that pushing the air out of the way of a car consumes nearly all of the energy it uses, so every point shaved of the Cd reduces the energy consumption of the vehicle.