Open source vehicles get a green light with Tabby

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Open hardware is gaining speed. The appetite for open source vehicles is growing. And while we may not have flying cars yet, we do have Tabby—an open source car design released by Open Source Vehicle this October.

Want to swap out an internal combustible engine for an eco-friendly electric? Tabby can do that. And, this open source vehicle is not just for makers—it’s production ready. Tabby will be rolling off the assembly line in early 2014. Will you see Tabby cruising your streets?

In this interview, we found out more about Tabby and got some insight into the open hardware movement from the team at Open Source Vehicle.

The open hardware movement is experiencing rapid growth. What factors do you attribute to the innovation we're seeing in open hardware?

The fact that products like Arduino are conquering the market is a sign that there is a desire to improve the world through open source technologies. Being an enabler to new businesses by lowering the barriers to entry in the market, like in the automotive sector in Tabby's case, is the single most important factor to the growth of open hardware projects.

What was the inspiration for the open source vehicle Tabby?

Francisco Liu's experience in the automotive business led to the inspiration for the creation of Tabby. Every vehicle he worked on was compatible only with a single country's needs in mind and a single application. The idea behind an open source vehicle is creating a common base that will work for everyone and avoid spending resources in developing vehicles from scratch every time.

Where do you see the biggest traction in the market for an open source vehicle?

The markets we believe open source vehicles are aimed at are both developing countries and modern smart cities.

Where are you seeing the quickest adoption for your open design?

Aside from Italy, where the project was born, the countries we are seeing the greatest interest from are: United States, China, Germany, France, Madagascar, Spain, and the Netherlands.

What's the advantage of having an open design? Can't some just take the design and assemble all the parts themselves?

An open design allows anyone to download the 3D CAD of the vehicle and start working on it with no initial cost. The project can be studied and improved by engineers and designers all over the world with different experiences and backgrounds.

As an open source project, we don't prevent someone from copying Tabby, rather we offer competitive prices on a solid and tested product.

How can someone get their own Tabby?

You can pre-order TABBY on with a 500 euro down payment. Shipping will begin Spring 2014.

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets is a Principal Program Manager at Red Hat with the Digital Communities team. He works with the Enable Architect, Enable Sysadmin, Enterprisers Project, and community publications.

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