OScar: Designing A Car For Free

By Automotive Staff | April 19, 2007
No doubt you have never heard of the OScar. And no, we're not talking about that movie award. The OScar is a concept vehicle that is being created over the Internet by various car designers, engineers, and programmers. Using "Open Source", anyone can participate in the creation of the OScar. And that truly means anyone. Even you. Just go to the website: http://www.theoscarproject.org. Markus Merz directs the project. Well, "direct" may not be the right word. Decisions about the car are made by a democratic process that includes designers, companies, universities, and other organizations and, as said above, you. Merz actually steers the project while thousands of enthusiasts actually design the OScar.
There are six discrete parts to the OScar -- the drivetrain, body, engine, power, safety, and information systems. Each part, or "module", is being designed separately but each can be mixed and matched with other components. This could be interesting for a future manufacturer because it allows parts to be swapped back and forth as needed. Also, because the project is open source, cars can be manufactured en mass because there are no licensing restrictions. Of course, that's contrary to what manufacturing cars is all about today. Right now OScar is a hobby for its supporters. Can a hobby become a real car? Many car analysts say no. But then again, the car itself was the result of hobbyists tinkering in their garage. Greats like Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, and Wilhelm Maybach first started in their garage. In this case, the tinkering is taking place in cyberspace. What will be the results? Via The Guardian