Companies like Tesla Motors and Local Motors are pushing the envelope of automotive design- and whether that’s ultra-efficient electric sports cars or zombie-busting, post-apocalyptic survival rigs like the DARPA-sponsored project shown, above, it takes a special blend of creativity and engineering know-how to make the future happen. “At Tesla Motors, we depend on everybody to be as creative and productive as possible,” says Paul Lomangino, the Engineering Tools Director at Tesla Motors. That emphasis on creativity is part of what’s made the Model S a shining example of American industrial design – but, as much fun as it is to be creative, the word “productive” also plays a prominent role in that phrase.
You need both, in other words.
So, how do companies like Tesla lead the pack in terms of productivity? They do so by getting their designs right the first time, and that requires a corporate culture that actively listens to its market, allows potential buyers a means to collaborate with designers, and – of course! – compelling industrial design. That’s design that’s driven by market research, in other words, and it’s a lot of information to manage. “When it comes down to it, market research is nothing other than a fancy way of saying, ‘ask customers what they want you to make, for how much, how they want to buy it, and for what price’,” says Scott Cooney, an MBA professor and contributor at our sister site, Green Living Ideas. “For automakers, crowdsourcing this kind of information would be invaluable, so long as it was done in a way that was organized and constructive.”
To make sure they get real value out of that data and get their design right, the industry leading OEMs and suppliers use a solution called “My Car Experience” from Dassault Systems, which provides them industry-leading design capabilities, innovative social media tools, and proven virtual simulation to ensure that their next design meets the real-world needs of the people who’ll be asked to pay for it. “(Dassault’s) solution allows automakers to connect with potential customers over social media,” explains Cooney, “and (allows them to) control and analyze data gathered in the process.”
As more automakers adopt the Dassault My Car Experience solution, your interaction with the OEMs through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google + and other social media outlets will carry more influence earlier in the design stage- so don’t keep your opinions about painfully over-wrought infotainment systems or overly-intrusive safety buzzers to yourself, you know? The companies that care will listen, and you’ll end up with a green car you’ll actually love appearing in a new car dealership (or mall kiosk) near you.
You can find out more about Dassault’s My Car Experience solution at Dassault’s website, and you can find out more about Dassault’s other innovative design solutions by checking out this short video, below. Enjoy!