Metaverse, NFT, We3.0, and the blessing of multiple hot words, can it bring about a subversion of the way cars are built?
In the era of new energy vehicles, when intelligence and electrification brought great changes to the industry, some people began to try to subvert the entire way of making cars.
Yu (the interviewed contestants are all pseudonyms) works in exterior design for a car company in Shanghai.
During the epidemic, because I stayed at home for too long, I signed up for a Metaverse co-creation car project online. Participants come from all over the world, and every contestant who successfully signs up will receive a set of VR tools provided by the organizer, which is convenient for everyone to meet and communicate in the Metaverse.
The same group as Yu is an Internet entrepreneur. “What’s special about this competition is that it has people from all walks of life. I’m in the auto industry myself, so I’d love to see what people outside the industry think about vehicle design.”
It took a month for the All in 3.0 team composed of Yu and his partners to successfully complete the design of the work.
Yu said that this car is inspired by games such as Temple Run. Driving it out, every journey is collecting real “gold coins”, that is, carbon credits. The collected carbon credits will be automatically recorded on the personal carbon account, and a personal-exclusive NFT will be generated to be permanently retained in the Metaverse, highlighting the future environmentally friendly and low-carbon travel mode.
From the results of this competition, the organizer will select a design and put it into production and sell it to the EU market. The vehicle class is an EU-approved L7e class car.
The EU defines the L7e four-wheeler as: excluding the weight of the battery of the electric vehicle, the net weight of the passenger vehicle is less than 400kg, the load is less than 550kg, the maximum net power is less than 15kw, and the maximum speed is 45km/h. In addition, drivers must be at least 16 years old and apply for a driver’s license.
When asked how long it took to complete the entire concept design, Yu said it would take about three or four hours a day for a month.
“So you signed up for this event during the epidemic?”
“No,” Yu protested. “In fact, we are very busy. Even during the epidemic, we often work overtime. I do it all in my spare time, and sometimes I have to stay up all night.”
In the group work, Yu is mainly responsible for the exterior design of the vehicle, while conceptual content such as NFT is handled by a partner who is more familiar with this field.
In addition to the concept of carbon points, driving the All in 3.0 car will get a mysterious NFT every time you go to a special attraction, and the car owner can generate a car clothing through the exclusive store and paste it on the car.
Since the organizer plans to put into production a design result, the contestants need to consider the feasibility more when doing the conceptual design.
“Because feasibility accounts for a large proportion of the score, we actually did not make the concept too pioneering.” Yu said, “The biggest feature of this car is a large screen surrounding the body, which you can share on it. The places you’ve been, the songs you’re listening to, and others can post barrage in your car.”
“Is this a bit like the smart lamp language that car companies are doing now? Emphasizes the interaction with people outside the car.”
“This is not the same. The current lamp language is actively projected. Ours is a passive display. You can watch it if you want, and don’t watch it if you don’t want to.”
The Omega team consists of four people, and the design is more about the emotional communication between the car and the person. With more emphasis on emotion, Omega’s design was inspired by Wall E and Eva in the movie “Robotics”, and the vehicle was set up as a creature that could communicate with people and other vehicles. Animated headlights display status and facial expressions, and the internal CMF is designed with bionic textures generated by artificial intelligence.
The Trojan horse, who is responsible for the design, said that the future vehicles will no longer be just human means of transportation, but will be more like intelligent assistants, which can actively interact with people, and even form a bond similar to pets and owners.
When asked what he thinks the future cars will look like, Yu feels that the demand for cars will decrease in the future, so the exterior design may not be so important, but the interior, the design of the cockpit, is more important.
01 Metaverse car building experiment
Earlier this year, PIX Moving opened the recruitment for the DeAuto Hackathon. This is a decentralized car hackathon. The goal is to use the DAO, that is, the Decentralized Autonomous Organization, to complete the design and manufacturing process of an L7e-class car in VR. At the same time, each work will be confirmed in the form of NFT.
After a month of competition, the DeAuto Hackathon event produced nine sets of design works. In addition to the works of All in 3.0 and Omega, the unique design of the Pixel team also attracted the attention of Zhi Jiajun. The pixelated design is highly recognizable.
In addition, six other groups also presented their designs. Here we briefly show the works of each group.
Each work is a little different from what we know about cars today.
Which set of designs do you prefer?
The purpose of PIX to hold this event is to explore the model of decentralized car building based on the community.
And supporting this model is the identity of the PIX skateboard chassis manufacturer.
The skateboard chassis integrates the power, braking, steering, and three electric modules of the whole vehicle, which can form an independent functional area. It is connected to the upper body through the reserved electrical and body interfaces. The contestants only need to design the upper body. That’s it.
In addition, throughout the activity, PIX also provided the contestants with a number of lectures related to engineering and design, and Zhi Jia Jun was also honored to be invited to participate in two of them.
All the contestants sat together in the large conference room of the Spatial space and listened to the speech, which was a meeting in a virtual world.
Of course, Yu also said that in traditional car companies, what everyone needs to do is only a small part. Even as an exterior designer, the pictures he produces are still a long way from the final appearance. Only after the concept sketch of the model is passed, will the follow-up more detailed design begin. The PIX event requires participants to complete the entire design process.
“Actually, a month is really short. Even if you are doing early concept design in a car company, it will generally take longer.”
“Although what you see in the end is just a picture, it’s not as simple as drawing a picture for us. You don’t know how to draw a design from the beginning.”
Koi from the Omega group is still in school, and her biggest regret is not having enough time to express all her thoughts.
However, the person in charge of the activities of PIX said that it was really a surprise to receive so many complete works in such a short period of time, and some of the works were really eye-catching.
According to PIX officials, at this stage, only the conceptual design of the vehicle needs to be completed. In the future, the project will be completed through the co-creation of the community, as well as follow-up regulations, testing and other issues, and finally the finished product will be implemented.
02 From design to mass production
For the models selected for the event, how does PIX plan to land and achieve mass production?After this experimental co-creation activity, what plan does PIX have for this form in the future, and how will it subvert the car-making model? We also interviewed PIX CEO Yu Chuan online.
Yu Chuan believes that today we see that the automobile industry has undergone tremendous changes, but the main ones are electrification and intelligence, which are changes in the power system and intelligence level of the vehicle itself. In terms of the vehicle development process and manufacturing model, today’s OEMs continue the traditional top-down closed vehicle manufacturing model.
“This is actually not conducive to the next stage of the real transformation of the industry.” Yu Chuan said.
“So we do this activity, on the one hand, we hope to enter the field of complete vehicles based on the skateboard chassis, and on the other hand, we try to use decentralized methods such as NFT and Web 3.0 to explore paradigm changes in the development and manufacturing processes of the automotive industry.”
DeAuto is Decentralized Automobile, a decentralized way to build cars. Based on its skateboard chassis, PIX launched the DeAuto community while exploring a community-driven decentralized car-making model.
PIX said that the vision of the DeAuto community is to build privacy protection, low-carbon manufacturing, technology democratization, and user participation in creation of automobiles and robot products, rather than the traditional way of building a car in a closed way, allowing users to passively accept a car Cars that have been built, accept cookie-cutter exteriors and interiors.
Judging from the announced plans, at least the PIX event has achieved its goal in terms of the personalization of the exterior and interior.
According to Yu Chuan’s introduction, this event chose an L7e car to land, first of all, taking into account the requirements of laws and regulations. Since car manufacturing involves a very complex and long industrial chain, for PIX, which is entering the field of complete vehicles for the first time, it is hoped to be more cautious when trying to innovate and start with L7e models with lower regulatory requirements to verify the entire development. process.
“If the response is good in the future, we will also enter the M1-level vehicle market, and the requirements for this regulatory certification will be higher.”
Regarding the groups that the L7e car is aimed at, Yu Chuan said that the vehicle will be divided into versions with assisted driving and fully automatic driving. The former is mainly for C-end users, while the latter is mainly used for B-end scenarios such as logistics and tourism. Because of the two scenarios of carrying passengers and cargo, the final mass-produced models will also undergo modular design processing so that they can be adjusted to suit different scenarios.
For C-end users, Yu Chuan said, it is mainly the urban commuting scene of young Europeans. Since European cities are generally small and the streets are narrow, and some countries exempt L6e and L7e cars from parking fees, such cars are very popular in Europe and are also in line with their environmentally friendly and low-key concept.
“It’s more common in the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy. In Germany, there are more M1-level high-speed cars.”
After completing the design process, PIX will select one of the submitted works to enter the subsequent engineering process. Engineers will also be recruited from the DeAuto community, covering various aspects of body, performance, interior and exterior and general layout engineering.At this time, designers and engineers may also need to communicate and coordinate to make adjustments for feasibility.
After that, PIX will officially launch its first model after a series of links such as engineering development, prototype vehicle development, testing iteration, preparation of mass production mold fixtures and mass production lines, and regulatory certification.
“This process is expected to take one to one and a half years, which means that it will be able to enter mass production in the third and fourth quarters of 2023.”
In addition, Yu Chuan said that the price of mass production is expected to be between 10,000 and 15,000 euros.
At the same time, Yu Chuan also answered the question of vehicle data security due to the involvement of assisted driving and automatic driving.
Due to privacy issues, Yu Chuan said that the main data of vehicles will still be hosted by open source organizations to ensure decentralization and user privacy issues. If it is necessary to use data for autonomous driving training, or to generate other economic benefits, PIX will also first obtain user consent and use user data in the form of sharing with users.
03 Community-driven decentralized car manufacturing
When it comes to planning for the future, Yu Chuan said that for PIX, the central part is still dominated by skateboard chassis, and car building is more of a proofing process. PIX hopes to complete the entire development and operation process through the DeAuto community, recruit design, development teams, and even investors to build the DeAuto community into a developer ecosystem based on skateboard chassis.
Moreover, Yu Chuan said that there are actually some OEMs that have expressed some interest in this form. For OEMs, this way of co-creating vehicles can make contact with potential users from an early stage, understand the real needs of users, and reduce the risk of factories developing new models.
Zero of the Omega team believes that this model of car building must be feasible, just like the existence of independent design companies today, which is to provide design services for traditional OEMs. However, some employees of an automobile design company said that in recent years, the main engine factory actually hopes that the design can also be mastered by itself, so they are building their own design teams, and even buying design companies directly.
Of course, Yu Chuan also said that for OEMs, this is only a possible choice. In addition to the inherent system, get more different information and ideas.
And what PIX wants is clearly to go further. In the field of complete vehicles, PIX’s vision is to build the DeAuto community into a vehicle development platform and incubate multiple brands based on PIX’s skateboard chassis.
In addition, according to the information obtained by Zhijiajun, PIX has reached a strategic cooperation with Italdesign, an Audi subsidiary, and the two parties will jointly develop the super skateboard chassis of the passenger car level. Yu Chuan said that there are still obvious differences between low- and medium-speed vehicles and high-speed vehicles. When it comes to passenger vehicles, PIX will still hope to cooperate with more professional engineering companies to ensure the safety of vehicles.
On the other hand, as a skateboard chassis manufacturer, PIX believes that autonomous driving will change the pattern of future cities. The model based on the skateboard chassis will make it easier to build a car, and when the car achieves autonomous driving, the attributes of the vehicle will also change. It will no longer be just a means of transportation, but more of an infrastructure.
According to Yu Chuan, from the end of this year to the beginning of next year, PIX will realize the mass production of its Robobus, and will recruit entities such as gyms, small businesses, offline stores and other entities to realize the mobile format on the car.
Skateboard chassis is also popular in recent years. Based on the skateboard chassis, the threshold for building a car is greatly lowered, and it is also possible to create a car together. Will the PIX experiment be successful? We look forward to the results.
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