OSVehicle Revolution: Open Standards, Platforms & Sources

By: | December 12th, 2014

IndustryTap has written about Arduino, the open source single board microcomputer and programming language that allows inexpensive and easy creation of devices that use sensors and actuators. This same type of technology is now available to those interested in building an automobiles and its called OSVehicle.

In November 1997. Bill Gates famously criticized General Motors lack of innovation and rising prices. He said:

“The PC industry is different than any other industry. The volume, the openness, the innovation, it’s really unequaled. In fact, comparisons are often done between this industry and others, and it’s just stunning when you look at it. The price of a mid-sized auto, it’s about double what it used to be. Cereal, I admit I don’t buy that much cereal, but research shows that, too, has doubled in price. And if you take that and say, what would those prices be if it were like the PC industry, the car would cost about $27, and the cereal would cost about one cent. So, I think there’s a lot to be learned by watching how this industry has done what it’s done.”

There were a lot of sarcastic rejoinders from both GM and PC users who said things like “Yes, but would you like your car to crash twice a day.” And having used PCs for decades, I believe I’d be as rich as Bill Gates if I had a nickel for every time the Windows system has inconvenienced me or wasted my time.

A New Open Source Automobile Revolution

It seems that the interests of huge multinational companies and even large national companies are less aligned than ever with the needs of individuals or small groups. What is different now is that design and manufacturing technology and materials exist that will allow individuals and small groups to take action and create products that better meet needs, often more cheaply.

IndustryTap just wrote “Meet the World’s First Full-Size, Driveable, 3D Printed Car” in which a very small company was able to design and produce a viable automobile using open source design and 3-D printing technology. The average price of US automobiles is currently $31,252, an all-time high. It’s getting to the point where the average American household has to give up a number of basic necessities in order to buy a new car.

But consumers in the US and others around the world no longer have to put up with what amounts to manufacturing monopolies.

As the automobile industry is wrung of its gas guzzling, air polluting vehicles, the current revolution in electric vehicle technology goes forth, the availability of “driverless taxis” spreads, and program such as Zipcar expand, the automobile industry, as it stands, will shrink dramatically.


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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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