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OScar is the first attempt to design an entire automobile using open-source principles. The aim of the project is mainly to produce blueprints, using essentially open-source CAD. The project commenced in 1999, founded by Markus Merz, and launched its 0.2 release in 2006, but no further progress has been made. In 2007, Merz admitted the project was a hobby.
Goal and challenges
The goal of the project is not to produce a sophisticated car, but rather a simple and functional basic one, which answer people's basic transportation needs. A long term goal is also to introduce standardization in parts manufacturing (very much in the open-source way) to use economies of scale. This is a radical change from the car industry's current practices and business model, where every manufacturer has their own standards. This monopoly on brand-specific parts often constitutes an important part of the manufacturers' revenues.
Among the challenges this car will have to overcome, before reaching the manufacturing phase, are to conduct crash tests and also to abide by very strict security legislation and pollution norms in the car industry. This has led to proposals for low-carbon alternative propulsion OScars (hybrid, hydrogen vehicle, and electric versions).
- "Can open source techniques be used to design a car?". The Guardian. 12 April 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
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