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The BMW Group and Local Motors 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. In a project that will see the BMW Group 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", powered by the Forge at Local Motors, 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 urbanization, 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 centers around the world. BMW is already addressing this challenge today with visionary electric vehicles such as the BMW i3, as well as mobility services, inspiring design and an interpretation of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability. As a further step, the BMW Group has chosen to work with the open-source community at Local Motors to offer consumers the opportunity to participate in this endeavor.
"With our claim to innovation leadership, we have found in Local Motors the ideal partner with whom to explore new, forward-looking and revolutionary mobility solutions," says Dr Christoph Grote, Managing Director BMW Group Research and Technology. "The results will undoubtedly be very valuable for BMW, and we eagerly anticipate the extent to which we can channel the expertise we acquire into our series-production processes."
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, fabricators and passionate 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.
"We are delighted to be able to share the know-how of our community with the BMW Group, one of the world's leading automakers, and hope that this collaboration will be crowned with success on both sides," states Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors.
Phase 1 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 released on the Local Motors website on September 25. A second challenge will begin in mid-November. In all, $ 30,000 in prize money will be awarded along with the opportunity for the top winners in each competition to travel to BMW headquarters in Munich to meet with the Managing Director of BMW Group Research and Technology.