December 21st, 2006

The abc reports “the open source movement responsible for software like Linux and the browser Firefox is proving contagious. Now a German entrepreneur is applying the same approach to designing a car.Former BMW employee Markus Merz, who now owns an automobile consulting firm in Dingolfing, Germany, calls his project OScar shorthand for Open Source Car.The idea behind open source development is to allow anyone to copy, modify and redistribute ordinarily secret information about a technology without paying royalties to the original developers.The project, which Merz calls his hobby, is bringing together automobile engineers, designers and other experts on online forums to exchange ideas on how to improve mobility, specifically car design. The hope is that, unrestrained by patents and other conventional restrictions such as profit margin, marketing and technology, a community of experts will come up with fresh solutions.”We [usually work] in front of the computer to generate stuff that people in front of a computer will use. It’s boring,” says Merz.”It would be a great idea to combine the idea of open source with the idea of hardware, and a car is hardware that is interesting.”

Open source car revving up

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