Open-source software is being used just about everywhere to power everything from ERP systems to email. BMW, however, has even better plans for open source:
It wants The Ultimate Driving Machine to be powered by The Ultimate Software Development Methodology. In other words, we may have the chance to drive open source in the near future:
...BMW [recently] revealed it is looking for partners as it pursues an open-source car computing platform. The German company is enthusiastic about the potential for such an open-source system's potential to keep up with the rapid advances in technology and features in the multimedia and digital entertainment areas.
Though no other car makers are yet officially on board, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Honda have previously participated in a panel on the subject, reports Automotive News. BMW said it wants to have an open-source system in a vehicle selling 200,000 or more units over the next five to seven years.
BMW, of course, isn't in this for religion. It needs open source because "the speed in the infotainment and entertainment industry requires us to be on a much faster track," said Gunter Reichart, BMW vice president of driver assistance, body electronics and electrical networks. In other words, proprietary software doesn't innovate fast enough, and it makes no sense for each individual car company to reinvent the wheel, as it were.