An increasing number of stories are appearing in the tech press attaching the term open source to seemingly bizarre items such as fridges, traffic lights or even sports cars.
Highlighting the use of open source in the manufacture process for these products can make a good headline; we normally expect to see open source used to denote its use in software in the first instance of course.
But open source is a “design philosophy” not a technology.
So this is precisely why we have groups such as the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) pushing to promote the development of hardware whose design is made publicly available.
So with that housekeeping out of the way, let’s get down to super powered open source racing cars in the desert shall we?
Co-located in both Wareham, Massachusetts and Chandler, Arizona is Local Motors, makers of what is claimed to be the first ‘crowd sourced’ open source motorcar.
The company has engendered and fostered a community of petrol head enthusiasts who include automotive engineers, chassis designers and pretty much every other member of the auto production line to come together and submit informal sketches and more fully-blown designs to produce the final product — theTWiST Rally Righter.
Road legal (well, in Arizona at least), the Rally Fighter is 6.2 litres of V8 engine fun with 430 of open source horsepower to get you into trouble.
Reports suggest that the machine costs around £50,000, so open source is not free in every sense.
There’s an optional ‘comfort package’ for drivers who just have to have SatNav, fluffy carpet and leather trim.
What would an open source car company use as its tagline then in the good old USA these days?
It could only be… MADE BY YOU IN AMERICA.
Photo credit: http://rallyfighter.com/