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EDAG announces open-source concept car

Engineering firm EDAG will show the Light Car - Open Source, at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.

EDAG Light Car - Open Source
The EDAG light car will debut at the 2009 Geneva auto show. EDAG

One of our favorite aspects of the Geneva auto show are the concepts shown by design houses and engineering firms. Never intended to reach production, these concepts show what the companies can do. EDAG is one such company, and it has just announced its concept for the upcoming Geneva auto show, the Light Car - Open Source. This concept demonstrates new structural materials, liberal use of organic LEDs, and an electric power train.

EDAG Light Car - Open Source
The Light Car uses organic LEDs to show warnings. EDAG

According to EDAG, the car will be almost featureless when off, but turn it on and organic LEDs embedded in the body panels outline features, giving the car shape. Owners will also be able to reconfigure these lights to customize the exterior look of the car, much the same as you move icons around on your computer's desktop.

Beyond decoration, these organic LEDs can be used to communicate with other drivers. For example, brake lights can be configured as a scale, indicating how much braking force you are applying in the Light Car, so the driver behind knows if you're making a panic stop. We can just imagine this technology applied to trucker's mud flaps.

The car's environmental credentials include a structure comprised of basalt fiber, a material that, according to EDAG, is 100 percent recyclable and widely available. Basalt fiber is supposed to be lighter and cheaper than carbon fiber, while providing similar strength.

The drive system for the Light Car is made up of a lithium ion battery pack and in-wheel motors, giving the car a 90-mile range, while providing room for five in the cabin. EDAG calls this concept open source because it plans on working with other companies to advance the basic ideas, such as the construction material and the use of organic LEDs.