Enabling Emerging Markets to Manufacture Their Own Ultra-efficient Transportation, WIKISPEED and Open Source Ecology Announce Partnership in Open-Hardware Movement
Seattle, WA, and Maysville, MO, USA (March 7, 2012)
The open-hardware movement got a tremendous boost today when WIKISPEED, an innovative automotive company building modular, high-performance cars using agile design principles, and Open Source Ecology (OSE), a group committed to providing free plans and processes necessary for building the global economy, announced that they are teaming up to revolutionize transportation in the developing world.
Taking on traditional, proprietary manufacturing R & D, the two companies aim to create an open-source product-development methodology that would allow communities around the world to quickly develop their own machinery and processes to support themselves, removing a dependency on industrialized nations for costly solutions.
OSE CEO Marcin Jakubowski is developing the Global Village Construction Set, identifying essential machines that are required to build and maintain an entire economy. Jakubowski’s work includes publishing the blueprints for each piece of equipment and making the plans available for free via the Internet.
Above: Open Source Ecology is developing the Global Village Construction Set, the minimum set of tools and machinery for any community to produce and maintain a modern infrastructure in its entirety.
For his part, Joe Justice, founder and team lead of WIKISPEED, has pioneered the use of agile rapid-delivery processes (the same method used by leading software companies) for physical manufacturing and complex problem solving. This application has been highly successful, allowing Justice to design and build a high-performance modular car that gets 100 mpg and meets all U.S. safety standards, using a globally distributed team of volunteers, in just three months.
Above: The Roadster is only one of WIKISPEED’s modular, configurable cars.
Together, Jakubowski and Justice will collaborate on a modular car, which can be manufactured globally using only the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS). OSE will adapt WIKISPEED’s current car designs, making them compatible with their GVCS manufacturing infrastructure, while WIKISPEED will provide automotive design, CAD for their current ultra-efficient car, agile training, and efficiency consulting to expedite design and development. The finished plans will be open-source and available to anyone. The car will target the needs of developing countries and economy transport while retaining U.S. automotive safety standards.
According to Justice, “This is clearly the right thing to do. OSE is creating a new template for a global village, built around devices and equipment that even small, remote communities can maintain themselves. The modular WIKISPEED car makes sense in a community like this, and with OSE we will be developing a version of the car able to be produced and maintained with the OSE Global Village Construction Set anywhere in the world. The GVCS is completely revolutionary in enabling even small communities to create and maintain every piece of a thriving modern economy with contemporary comforts. Team WIKISPEED is very pleased to be helping reduce the environmental footprint while accelerating innovation and business productivity.”
Jakubowski calls the new collaboration a “bold and noteworthy step toward the open-source economy, and it will serve to encourage other change-makers to join the effort to invent distributive enterprise.” Together, the companies will work to “unleash the collaborative potential of the open-source hardware movement—Industry 2.0. We are pursuing a system of optimized production where everyone has free access to state-of-the-art product designs and blueprints, which they can, in turn, produce within their local economy. It’s an idea whose time has come.”
Team WIKISPEED is a green automotive-development company that builds cars utilizing agile methodology and has prototyped a mass-manufacturable, ultra-low-cost, 100-mpg commuter car. Based in Seattle and led by Joe Justice, WIKISPEED is an all-volunteer distributed agile/scrum team: members contribute their work from various locations globally and iteratively enhance the vehicle every two weeks. This model allows extremely high-speed development, especially when paired with rapid-prototyping manufacturing tools.
About Open Source Ecology
Open Source Ecology, founded in 2004 by Marcin Jakubowski, Ph.D., has a stated mission to create the open-source economy, which, according to Jakubowski, “optimizes both production and distribution by publishing its trade secrets openly.” Jakubowski has recently been distinguished as a 2012 TED Senior Fellow and a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow for his work on the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS), an open technological platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the fifty different industrial machines necessary to building a small civilization with modern comforts.
To join or support the efforts, email opensourceecology at gmail dot com or info at wikispeed dot com.