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Secret Life of Cars

Secret Life of Cars

When an oncoming car flashes its headlights, drivers often interpret this as a human wink. Meanwhile, commuters are more likely to sing on their way to work than on their return. These were just a couple of the findings we uncovered for BMW’s The Secret Life of Cars.

“My American friend sent me a description of where English couples sit in cars. It made me laugh because it’s so true. It said with a working class couple the two men sit up front and the women behind. With a middle class couple one couple sit in the front with the man driving and the wife in the passenger seat. And if its an upper class couple the couples mix up so one man drives and the other man’s wife sits in the front. Genius.” Male driver, 45, Leeds

“My American friend sent me a description of where English couples sit in cars. It made me laugh because it’s so true. It said with a working class couple the two men sit up front and the women behind. With a middle class couple one couple sit in the front with the man driving and the wife in the passenger seat. And if its an upper class couple the couples mix up so one man drives and the other man’s wife sits in the front. Genius.”
Male driver, 45, Leeds

BMW had done some research and discovered people buying cars are now much less interested in using them as a peacocking status symbol, and cared more about the pleasure and personal connection they get from driving their car. Having created a beautiful advert around this, BMW came to us to get key motoring influencers discussing this new relationship in a report, as a platform for talking about BMW's new in-car technologies.

Packed with photography, technical drawings and illustrations, the beautifully printed report mixes anthropological observation, psychological explanation and BMW innovation. Even the cover is eye-catching, a lenticular featuring two eyes—human on the front and automotive on the back: tilt the book and they wink at you.

Harnessing the power of Flickr, we asked BMW owners worldwide to join in the debate with photo-essays on the themes of weddings, cup holders and car washing. The report generated in-depth media coverage in every British broadsheet, as well as influential design blogs such as Dezeen.

In Real Life

In Real Life

Secret Lessons

Secret Lessons