Indi EV, a vehicle startup, came to CES 2022 last week to show the world its vision of the electric vehicle (EV) of the future, which includes a hub for social media, virtual reality (VR) and secured through blockchain technology.
The company is developing EVs that merge the world’s fascination with social media and chatting with friends and family along with the transition the automotive market is undergoing to make the primary models sold electric.
“Social media has a tremendous influence on our lives today,” said Andre Hudson, head of design at Indi EV. “Whether business, personal or a fusion of both, our existence is intertwined with sharing our lives, opinions and general information through social media. As the offerings in the EV space continue to expand, with similar drivelines and driving dynamics, it is even more important for each brand to differentiate their product through the user experience.”
Hudson said there is a disconnect from when people transition from personal devices in the home to the vehicle. The Indi One vehicle, the company’s first EV, will have an integrated hardware suite of cameras, microphones and VR headsets for social and multimedia use as well as productivity for workers.
The company is developing its cars from scratch, building both the physical and digital architectures that it believes will cater to users who want these capabilities. The company is assembling its initial prototypes at its R&D center in Vernon, California, and will contract to build its first series of cars for the U.S. market.
Targeting young adults
Indi EV is looking to target those who use social media, the internet and the metaverse the most: Millennials and Generation Z.
“As we all know, the market is going electric,” Hudson said. “More than any generation before, Millennials and Gen Zer’s understand the efficiency and responsibility to correct the petrol hungry footprint their parents left on the world. In fact, about 60% of them said they are likely to buy an EV.”
This combined with the fact that most have grown up using computers and smartphones, it is a safe assumption that the vehicle they will want to drive will have the same capabilities that other devices bring to their lives, he said.
Additionally, this will bring differentiation to an EV market that is quickly becoming saturated as all of the major automotive OEMs have announced they will switch to electrified models by 2040 and a range of new startups have emerged to take advantage of the budding EV market.
Gaming inside the vehicle
Indi EV developed its vehicle integrated computer (VIC) system based on emerging technological trends and every car acts as a node for a blockchain. Meaning that for every unit sold, another node is added to the blockchain.
The VIC also enables gaming within the vehicle — even AAA gaming of the latest titles — and acts as a conduit for the Indi EV ecosystem that contains game engine technology, content development, global publishing, mobile platforms, SIM cards, hardware and VR products.
The company plans to begin pre-ordering for the Indi One this quarter with a targeted shipment of the vehicle in 2023.