The new Fiat Mio, whose name translates as ‘my Fiat’, is the result of an online collaboration among thousands of consumers and experts. More than 17,000 people collectively discussed and debated the design of the new Fiat, some suggestions included wheels that rotate 90 degrees to make parallel parking easier and cameras instead of rear view mirrors. The new model is startling to look at, and the size of 98 inches makes it 6 inches shorter than the Smart ForTwo, meaning it is even more practical than its competitor for city driving.
The Mio is undoubtedly an eye-catching city car, but what makes it different from the others on the market is the fact it is a crowd sourced idea. The whole concept has been created through an interactive process through the Fiat website, online ‘making of’ videos, and social media sites such as Twitter. It shows how online discussion and interaction can create ideas and influence design over time. Over 10,000 contributions were put forward, and 17,000 people registered as official contributors. Fiat stated that it was about learning how to make an automobile again, and in some ways maybe gaining a fresh perspective on design theme, features and manufacturing.
The Mio seems perfect for urban living, and the sustainable use of materials and eco-energy are key design features which are attractive to the eco-conscious. The Mio is most definitely sustainable but it’s not lacking in the techy detail either – mobile phone integration, multimedia player, GPS and touchscreen controls are all added into the design. The contributions to the interior have resulted in a sofa-like seat for two and a command centre steering wheel, with all controls being at arms length from the driver.
It appears that the Mio has it all; style, technology, performance and sustainability. Fiat even hopes to move into the steering wheel free era, the Mio may include on-board intelligence that enables the the vehicle drive itself. The only draw back could be for those who do enjoy driving! There have been numerous positives that have come from this design experiment, it shows Fiat’s real desire to enter into a discussion with consumers and how they are evolving an idea in-front of the public eye and competitors. It will be interesting to see how the design develops as Fiat continues to throw questions into the crowd and how the future of car design will be affected by online discussions and social media.
To get involved, just follow Fiat Mio on Twitter…
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