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Will The Car Of The Future Hover?

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On: Thu, May 10, 2012 at 3:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Will The Car Of The Future Hover?

Though its definition may be disguised to those that don't speak German, the Volkswagen is, quite literally, the 'people's car'. Last year, the German automaker put a whole new emphasis on this definition by launching the People's Car Project in China, a Web-based collaborative platform for new product and technology ideas. At the Beijing Motor Show this month, Volkswagen showed the first three concepts to come out of the project.

Volkswagen is quite happy with the success that the People's Car Project (we feel bad calling it "PCP") has had over its first 11 months. The website has attracted 33 million visitors and inspired about 119,000 unique ideas. It's been so successful, in fact, Volkswagen is extending its run indefinitely (it was originally planned for a single year).

The first three ideas that Volkswagen handpicked to develop concepts of are the Hover Car, Music Car and Smart Key.

If you're anything like us, you dismiss "smart key" and "music car" as rather generic-sounding bore-fests while zeroing in on "hover car." Indeed, the Hover Car is the most interesting and radical of the three concepts. It's a two-seat electric-powered pod that hovers a few inches or feet over the ground and travels by way of electromagnetic roadways. Since it's not exactly a 2014 model, Volkswagen doesn't add any other details.

The Music Car is a sort of rolling disaster that creates OLED lighting displays on its body that are timed to the music being played inside. Just what highways need - a four-wheeled strobe light.

The Smart Key is a little more practical than either of the two aforementioned concepts. In fact, it's so practical, we're pretty sure it already exists in the form of smartphone apps that unlock and remote-monitor vehicles. The concept is a 9 mm key that offers touchscreen-based functions like fuel level indicator and remote monitoring. So basically you carry around an electronic key that does the same thing your iPhone can do.

VW chose China to launch the People's Car Project as its largest, most important market. Company executives have said that it might launch similar programs in other markets, allowing more people to get involved in thinking about and contributing to the Volkswagen of the future. Volkswagen won't necessarily move forward with any single concept, but it is using the project as a springboard for ideas.

Get a little more familiar with the Hover Car in this video clip.


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