A little late in the game, but here nonetheless, Volkswagen is now going to join the likes of Ford, Audi, Volvo, etc. in hyping up their infotainment systems. They, however, are the first who will be leaving it in the hands of the public. Volkswagen has announced the Open Innovation Contest, “App My Ride”, which allows users to collaborate with Volkswagen to create applications for their system while competing for prizes for creativity.

"Our aim is to invite the international developer community to take part in designing a future system," says Prof. Dr Jürgen Leohold, Head of the Volkswagen Group Research.

Changing the passive role of the user to a more involved one has worked in many cases such as for smartphones, video games, etc. and Volkswagen’s decision to involve the public is probably based on taking in a piece of that pie.

"A quiet revolution is taking place right now," explains Dr Johann Füller, CEO of the innovation agency partner to Volkswagen through the "App My Ride" competition, Hyve AG. "The customer-orientated culture of the internet places an enormous power in the hands of the users. Leading organisations are starting to harness this power to develop better solutions and increase their competitiveness." And I am sure a little (and by a little, we mean a lot) of it is based on making a little bit (again, a lot) of money and popularity.

Hit the jump for the press release and contest details.

To take part in this user generated content competition, users can simply log on to the Innovation Community website starting on May 3rd, 2010 at app-my-ride.volkswagen.com.

The following is a list of requirements for participation:

  • An idea for an app to be installed in a vehicle
  • Graphic design of the user interface
  • Programming in Adobe Flash / Flex
  • The purpose, design and logical construction of the app should be geared towards the possible requirements of drivers and other occupants.

Cash and non-cash (hmmm..) prizes will be handed out totaling up to €14,000. A special student prize will be handed out that involves being able to go to Tokyo, Shanghai, California, or Wolfsburg to be placed inside the Volkswagen Group Research while the winner of the contest will take part in an international vehicle presentation.

Press Release

Volkswagen is inviting designers, programmers, developers and interested users to help develop applications for the Infotainment systems of the future as part of the Open Innovation Contest, “App My Ride”. With this contest, Volkswagen has become the first car manufacturer to use the idea of open innovation for the further development of its products.
In the so-called "App My Ride" competition, users can jointly develop new Infotainment applications with Volkswagen. A jury of experts will select the winner whose creativity will be rewarded with special prizes. "Our aim is to invite the international developer community to take part in designing a future system," says Prof. Dr Jürgen Leohold, Head of the Volkswagen Group Research. So-called apps, also known as application programmes for certain devices which are available through an online shop, have helped to contribute to the smartphone boom. Applications designed by users (User Generated Content) are of central importance to the boom and are made available online by other users. Companies like Apple and Google successfully aid this nearly inexhaustible source of innovation.

"A quiet revolution is taking place right now," explains Dr Johann Füller, CEO of the innovation agency partner to Volkswagen through the "App My Ride" competition, Hyve AG. "The customer-orientated culture of the internet places an enormous power in the hands of the users. Leading organisations are starting to harness this power to develop better solutions and increase their competitiveness." Exactly what the "App My Ride" contest is targeting.

Currently a prototype for Volkswagen’s Infotainment system is being developed in which Flash applications designed by different creators can be accumulated. In order to research the potential of apps for the vehicle Infotainment system, Volkswagen is trying to produce the most varied collection of applications possible.

An "innovation community" open to all internet users will be created as of 3rd May 2010 for the competition under the following URL: app-my-ride.volkswagen.com. Here, participants in the competition can log in and either load programmed apps or send in their creative ideas for future ones. "The participants are supposed to imagine what the purpose of their ideal Infotainment system is and how it would work and now they have the opportunity to make it a reality. At the same time, you can analyse the existing apps on our platform and discuss their design, uses and purposes," explains Dr Peter Oel, Head of "Control Designs and Drivers" of Volkswagen Group Research.

To develop an app, the participants must have the following:

  • An idea for an app to be installed in a vehicle
  • Graphic design of the user interface
  • Programming in Adobe Flash / Flex

The purpose, design and logical construction of the app should be geared towards the possible requirements of drivers and other occupants.

The participant’s creativity will be rewarded at the end of the competition. The most innovative application will be chosen by the "App My Ride" community and a jury consisting of Volkswagen managers and external experts. Besides cash and non-cash prizes worth up to €14,000, a special prize for students will also be awarded. This involves a placement within Volkswagen Group Research in Tokyo, Shanghai, California or Wolfsburg. Moreover, the winner of the competition can also expect an exclusive trip to take part in an international vehicle presentation which covers the costs of the flight and hotel.

What do you think?
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10 comments:

  (504) posted on 02.23.2011

yeah, Why would you make that assumption? Not like the cars are actually based off what they look like in the paint scheme.

  (532) posted on 02.23.2011

TruckTrend.com reports that "The starting price for the new 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid in Germany is a hefty $99,500, nearly $31,000 more than the base Touareg TDI.

  (447) posted on 02.22.2011

It’s just a copy of Town and Country mini van. but it’s performance are quite lower than the town and country.

  (1211) posted on 02.22.2011

decent looking sports car, it looks more like a nimble R8 Roadster.

  (377) posted on 04.29.2010

Designers should join this competition, with this they can widen their designing ability and imagination.

  (442) posted on 04.28.2010

Yes, it’s weird I hope this baby can do an extraordinary things that a normal can’t do.

  (648) posted on 04.28.2010

This type of car is good for tourist, drive them along on a park, zoo, or even under sea (if possible) just kidding.....

  (406) posted on 04.28.2010

hahahaha yeah agree it looks like your driving to an aquarium, also it can be used as a submarine.

  (807) posted on 04.27.2010

This might be the most weird car ever, it looks like an alien and I think it is scary to drive because its only covered with a glass.

  (798) posted on 04.27.2010

What the hell was that, an aquarium or something?

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