The automotive business is highly competitive. Future products and feature innovation make up the key competitive edge to earning show-stopper headlines on the autoshow circuit - but headlines can't be the only goal. We're at a point in history when innovation is desperately needed to green up the fleet on the street but the current innovation process can take decades. Simple notions become complex problems.
The concept of open sourcing a feature or component, let alone an entire automotive platform, is a process most manufacturers aren't willing to consider. Yet, crowdsourcing might be exactly what the automotive business needs right now. The math is simple, the more brains involved, the greater potential for success. This is especially true when the end result isn't based on what the manufacturer thinks it can sell, but rather, a goal for the common good.
Enter Stichting Natuur en Milieu (Dutch Society for Nature and Environment) along with the technical universities of Delft, Twente and Eindhoven, all knowing that conservation is in, convention is out, and the future of the car should have nothing in common with those we see driven around today. Together they initiate C,mm,n (pronounced common), an open source green machine harnessing the collective intelligence of all who care to participate in the creation, innovation and collaboration of sustainable mobility. The vehicle is not meant to be manufactured itself, but rather kick start innovation to overcome engineering challenges to meet a production goal of 1 million green cars in the Netherlands by 2020.
The first collaboratively designed car, recently shown at the Amsterdam Auto RAI features:
- zero emissions
- a lightweight thermoplastic exterior
- an interior which includes soy-based memory foam and other recyclable materials
- a "river display" iPhone-esque dash interface with access to route-planning, carpooling, etc.
- short life replaceable body panels (3 years) optimized to reduce depreciation and repairs
- open sourced blue prints to the platform and components of the vehicle
From the horses mouth:
"By making the blueprint of the c,mm,n car publicly available under an open-source licence we are able to develop truly sustainable mobility. Just like open-source software, c,mm,n focuses on services around the product. You can use c,mm,n to offer people a lease car, rental car or other mobility services. It is allowed to sell c,mm,n too. Just as long as you make any derived work publicly available again."
The program continues to innovate with an open call for volunteers to help the c,mm,nity work on:
- interior design
- charging points for quick charging
- charging points for optimal charging
- intelligent systems/driving simulator
It's hard not to get excited about the potential of this collaboration. When the betterment of all is placed ahead of the capital gain of a few, real sparks emerge. This is one to watch as sustainable mobility continues to evolve.
C,MM,N a radical do.
Hat tip Springwise
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