BMW, Local Motors team up to identify future functions for urban premium vehicles

September 17, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In a time when teens prefer smartphones over cars and urban traffic situation increasingly discourage the use of conventional vehicles as a means for individual mobility, carmakers rack their brains over sustainable vehicle concepts The BMW Group and the automotive open-source community Local Motors announced they will jointly launch a first-of-its kind ideas competition intended to identify vehicle features and functions that will define the urban driving experience in the year 2025. For the winners, BMW offers prizes with a total value of $ 30.000.

The BMW Group hopes to tap into the global know-how of Local Motors online community of more than 20,000 members. The aim of this collaboration is to glean new inspiration and broader perspectives for future mobility solutions. The BMW “Urban Driving Experience Challenge” will be a two-phase challenge that engages participants in the a forward-focused challenge specifically targeted to providing next-generation driving solutions to the world's growing urban populations, and the challenges that are unique to these megacity environments. The first phase of the challenge will begin on September 25, 2012.

Increasing urbanisation, changing infrastructures and environmental pollution call for mobility solutions that strike a balance between global requirements and individual needs. This is nowhere more apparent than in the most densely populated and fastest growing urban conglomerations around the world. In order to address the specific needs of the next generation of drivers in such environments, the BMW Group has approached the open-source community at Local Motors to offer consumers the opportunity to participate in this endeavour.

With regard to design, development and construction, Local Motors is a leader in the world of “co-creation” – in fostering the design and development of locally relevant vehicles through a shared, open creative process between the company and the community. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, the Local Motors community has from more than 130 countries, among them numerous engineers, industrial designers, manufacturers and automotive enthusiasts. To date, more than 100,000 design submissions have been posted to the Forge as a result of various competitions and user-submitted project ideas. Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, expressed his pleasure to collaborate with BMW in this project. "We hope that this collaboration will be crowned with success on both sides", he said.

Phase One of the BMW Challenge will run from September 25 until October 16, 2012. A detail design brief and video outlining specific goals and deliverables will be