Elexir – The first truly digital car
How to digitally rethink the concept car
Elexir developed a shared car which enables users to change the car's functions and appearance at any given time. By being highly customisable, they attain the same experience as of owned, personalised cars. Through cloud-based systems, those personalised profiles can be applied to any car in the world. Thriving for a more sustainable future, they are enabling everybody to replace and add hardware elements and benefit from further improvements through software updates. They are achieving this by pairing secure code with individual car parts and using an open source software approach.
Truly digital – what does it mean?
To realize their vision of a digitally customizable car, Elexir have developed a completely new software architecture. By using an open source software concept, every customer can replace and add hardware elements in the system and benefit from further software improvements.
This works because every user can call up their own cloud-based profile in every Elexir car. Thereby a shared car can change from a focused business profile to a cool neon look - depending on the driver.
UX Design Award Nomination for Elexir
The UX Design Awards are the global competition for outstanding experiences, awarded by the International Design Center Berlin. The International Design Center Berlin (IDZ) has been a leading independent institution for the promotion of design as a driver of innovation in business and society for over 50 years. A jury of renowned experts nominates a small number of projects from all valid submissions to participate in the competition. One of these projects was our work with Elexir.
Our collaboration with ProtoPie
Elexir needed a prototype that could reflect hardware integration and personalization. This meant we needed advanced design software that could do much more than static screens.
It had to be able to use multiple hardware devices, real-time data connectivity, and fast iterations. Users needed to be able to understand and test the Elexir vision immediately. ProtoPie prototyping and design software met all these requirements and was the ideal partner for this project.
Read more about prototyping with ProtoPie in the blog articel by Protopie.
I got hooked by their idea right off the bat. At the time we joined in on the project, Elexir had already established their software architecture. Envisioning a new car HMI from scratch seemed like one of the coolest projects I could have imagined. Also, they already set up everything to have full control over every hardware part in the car! Having all those capabilities at the palm of their hand they needed a visual representation to convince stakeholders.
Clear design language, intuitive operation.
The vision and core functionality needed to be translated into a design that would not overwhelm users.
To achieve this, we used familiar interaction mechanisms and applied application information only where necessary
to create a minimalist, modern look. We optimized the user experience with three-dimensional visualizations and
direct feedback. This gives users the feeling of being able to communicate intuitively with the auto-interface.
We used visual representations of real objects to control numerous functions to give users a clear interaction flow.
Elexir’s unique architecture
Elexir customers can install new components on their vehicle without having to buy a new car.
Through open source software, Elexir has full access to all components, their control and configuration.
Depending on the user profile, only desired applications and functions are available and can be changed at any time.
The proprietary software platform meets special security requirements and allows all installed car parts to communicate with each other. User profiles are stored in the cloud and can be quickly accessed in vehicle.
Not only digital but also sustainable
Elexir's vision sees car sharing as an important mobility scenario of the future. By sharing vehicles, we can reclaim spaces in cities that are currently blocked by parking. Elexir also conserves resources by combining secure software code and independent vehicle parts: This combination makes it easier to upgrade or retrofit cars without having to change the vehicle itself.