AACHEN, Germany – Ford of Germany is inviting young designers to come up with innovative ideas for car interiors that could benefit elderly drivers and passengers.
The company, together with Rhenish Westphalian Technical University in Aachen has set up an online competition "Ford Interior - your ideas for the Interior of the vehicle" and anyone aged 18 or over can take part.
Details are available at http://www.ford-ideenwettbewerb.de and the deadline for entries is December 18, 2012. The winner will receive 3,000 Euros worth of vouchers for the Ford lifestyle Collection. The runner-up will get 1,500 of vouchers and the third placed entrant will receive vouchers to the value of 750 Euros.
Experts from RWTH and the Ford’s Aachen Research Centre, as well as the German Senior League will select the winning entries and announce the results in January 2013.
"The car offers a high degree of personal freedom and mobility for older people," says Dr. Achim Lindner, occupational physician and researcher at the Ford Research Center Aachen. "Ford is working long and hard to understand the needs of this growing group of customers and to meet their specific requirements. We have already implemented much in our products; through this competition we expect to generate many new ideas that will benefit older people travelling in our vehicles.”
Ergonomics, ease of entry and exit, seat height, lighting, font sizes and the intuitive handling of controls are especially important subjects for elderly people experiencing reduced mobility and limited vision, touch and hearing.
Professor Frank Piller, Professor of business administration at the RWTH Aachen and co-initiator of the action, explains: "Open innovation through competition is a big trend today. The Ford idea competition picks up on this and taps into the knowledge and the creativity of many experts for the improvement of the mobility of tomorrow.”
In addition to introducing innovations, visitors on the website can evaluate ideas and exchange ideas with other interested people.