Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram design car-sharing programme for Audi

Swedish German design firm Kram/Weisshaar has teamed up with car brand Audi to design and develop a “micro-sharing initiative” to encourage drivers in Stockholm to share their cars (+ slideshow). “Developing a virtual product and process like unite involves financial product design, agressive iterative testing and development of hard- and software, user interface design, communication design, art direction of ad campaign and dissemination strategy and so on,” explained Celemens Weisshaar. A 24/7 hotline also provides emergency support via the app and a dedicated social chat platform allows each group of car sharers to communicate privately between themselves. “Some of these aspects we don’t communicate in the design world because it tends to confuse people.” Digital car sharing has been growing in popularity, with existing services including the Uber taxi app, ride sharing system Lyft and car sharing service RelayRydes. The tag contains a digital signature that is unique to each user and keeps a record of their car usage using data collected by the computer. The Audi unite beacon”Each unite member gets a personal Audi unite beacon, part of an in-car system that recognises when unite members are in the car, allowing for seamless processes and easy cost-sharing,” said a statement from Kram/Weisshaar. Kram/Weisshaar was approached by Audi because it could deliver both the hardware and software development as well as the more obvious design aspects of the products, branding and marketing, according to Weisshaar. These have predominantly been produced by technology startup companies, rather than design firms. As well as allowing users to reserve their car for specific periods, the Audi unite app displays the car’s current location and fuel levels. “Reed’s MIT background also means that we have from the beginning been as much a tech company as a design firm and we are capable of iteratively developing integrated tech solutions along with the product and GUI [graphical user interface] design as well as the communication around the project,” he added. Parts of the Audi unite beaconThe scheme is launching in Stockholm, following trials with a fleet of cars and 38 local drivers. “User experience was a central concern of Audi unite from the earliest creative briefs; initial prototypes were secretly tested with a fleet of 12 Audis on the streets of Stockholm.”
Posters for Audi unite on Stockholm’s underground systemThe multi-disciplinary studio has also designed the media campaign and branding for the launch of the Audi unite programme, with billboards posted on Stockholm’s Tunnelbanen underground transport system featuring portraits of the scheme’s beta testers. The Audi unite appThe design studio led by Munich-based Clemens Weisshaar and Stockholm-based Reed Kram has designed the Audi unite scheme to allow groups of up to five people to share one Audi car using a booking app.

Updated: 13.11.2014 — 13:06