Starting with a very basic premise—’What will cars be like in the future?’—car manufacturer Fiat began the Fiat Mio project to capture the many different answers to that question. The project sought to conceptualise and ultimately manufacture a concept vehicle that was informed by the crowd.
A good designer tries to realise the wishes of everyone, and with this concept car we were truly working on everybody’s behalf. The group of designers working in the Fiat Mio house were totally open. There was transparency about every decision, which were all communicated online and commented on. This is completely different to the usual design process, which is entirely hidden and secretive.
Fassbender is also featured discussing Fiat’s rationale for the project in this video from Fiat’s YouTube channel:
It’s reported that the project included more than 17,000 people and received more than 10,000 suggestions which each influenced the final vehicle, the Fiat Concept Car III (FCC-III). All user-submissions and content published on fiatmio.cc are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Brazil licence! The copyright notice states:
The Fiat Mio project will make use of these licenses to add and disseminate the ideas you send to fiatmio.cc. It is through them, conjunctly with our engineering and style teams, that we will produce a concept car, the first in the world created by and for users.
The FCC-III) was recently revealed to the public at Salão do Automóvel 2010 (2010 International Sao Paulo Auto Show).
Although much of the website is in Portuguese (!) Fiat has also done an exceptional job of documenting the experiment. The Fiat Mio site includes a blog and a 14-episode mini-documentary series (also available on their YouTube channel).