Ford Launches OpenXC to Spur Creation of New Car Systems

Car from 1984

Ford’s launched OpenXC, a platform based on Bug Labs’ open source Bug System, that’s designed to allow developers to quickly prototype ideas and test ways of connecting the automaker’s vehicles with new products and services.

The idea was first discussed at TechCrunch Disrupt in September. At the time, Ford described OpenXC as “the ultimate sandbox to play in with minimal investment, where any and all ideas, concepts and theories for in-car connectivity can be shared, tested and verified.” Now, the beta version of the hardware-software platform is being shipped to a select group of universities and app developers, including the University of Michigan, MIT and Stanford, the Weather Underground in the U.S. and India’s HCL Technologies.

OpenXC is Android-based and provides real-time access to a car’s sensors and data, including GPS. Ford says developers should be able to port its libraries to another OS if they want. The hardware uses Arduino and will cost about $150.

Though the actual source code of OpenXC isn’t available yet, Ford promises it will be soon. Also, the company says it will regularly add developers to the program. If you’re interested, sign up here.

Photo: UFO Series

Comments

  1. BY JD says:

    Great – now I’ll have to weed out spam and solicitation in my car too? What a world!

  2. BY JD says:

    Oh…and open my vehicle to Malware and Programming viruses – YEAH!

  3. BY Brad Chesney says:

    I love technology. I love it.

    Despite that, I wish my car had less. I would prefer saving a few thousand on a disposable necessary item. I want a comfortable seat, a mediocre stereo that I can pull out and change if desired, cruise control, automatic headlights, good fuel economy, and iron free panels where rust normally occurs first. If it could run on electricity, that would be awesome. Then offer it in the form I want it. During high school, four doors and a back seat was nice. In college, I just wanted a two door hatchback. And now that I have a family I am driving something bigger. But, the criteria I listed is what I have constantly valued. And for God’s sake, it is a marginal cost difference to build something that looks like a mustang versus building something that looks like an escort…

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