Open source cars?
Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, wrote recently about why car manufacturers should look into open source – Why Toyota Should Go Open Source
He has some valid points. We have a Bose system at home that about once a month stops responding to the remote and needs rebooting. If I add up all the time I’ve spent doing that (and talking family members through it over the phone), I’d gladly take a look at the source code and try to fix it.
When it comes to cars, however, I really like the approach taken by Local Motors. Their design and manufacturing process is very open:
- They have open competitions to select the car design. At this stage it is mainly concept art done by graphic artists and 3-D modelers. The range and imagination of the designs is very cool. The amount of work put in by the contributors is amazing. See the design wall.
- They have a voting process to select the designs that will be made into cars
- They have an open build process and CAD files are available – Build Process
- They have an open manufacturing process where you can participate in the building of your car – Build Experience
How cool is that?
Now they just need an embedded Linux-based OS for all the electronics that we can contribute to. Maybe some kind of serial bus that can be used universally by all the sensors and switches.