Sponsored, Transportation & Mobility

Ford embraces open-source with OpenXC

This is a sponsored video story from Ford.

When it comes to developing software for vehicles and other large consumer devices, companies usually don't give up control to the open-source community. Ford's principal researcher at the company's Silicon Valley Lab, Sudipto Aich, said it best: "With any company, this is a massive challenge."

Speaking with GreenBiz's John Davies at Ford EnTransit in San Francisco, Aich talked about Ford's open platform, OpenXC.

"With most of the [automotive] technology that has been developed, that technology has been fairly insular in nature," Aich said. "We want to really energize the lead user."

Aich said that Ford classifies "lead users" as early adopters who are devolopers and makers "who care about what's next in automotive innovation."

"What we at Ford have tried to do is develop this platform called OpenXE," he continued. "It's an open-source hardware-software platform." Aich said that OpenXC takes the car's data and turns it into an easy-to-use application programming interface for software developers to tap into.

By adopting an open-source approach, Aich said that Ford is letting the developer community come up with applications and solutions, instead of trying to do it all itself.

"If we did all the innovations internally, that means we are saying that only the people who are there can contribute to innovation in cars," he said.

By adopting an open approach at EnTransit, Ford will use community collaboration as a force multiplier.