Local Motors – An Open Source Car Company

We’ve been visiting the build teams at Local Motors for the past couple of weeks and I just think this is the coolest concept.  The model of developing a community collaborative using open-source and Creative Commons design that supports the local economy while remaining green and sustainable is quickly becoming the model of the future.  This is our working model at STW because it seemed obvious but would you think an automotive manufacturer could change the game too?


 

The Chandler ‘micro-factory’ builds the Rally Fighter, an off-road/street legal bad ass piece of machinery, because Arizona has lots of great off-roading spots. But other factories are being built in cities that require a different kind of vehicle.  Instead of buying next years’ popular model from some big auto maker in Detroit, you purchase from a local motor company that designs vehicles made specifically for your region.

As part of the Shell GameChanger DRIVEN Design Competitions they are collaboratively submitting designs of relevant and innovative vehicles for energy needs.  For Amsterdam they are developing a motorized/pedal bicycle made of bamboo, a helicopter for Sao Paulo and a hybrid electric street vehicle designed for the streets of Boston.

As a designer and 3D modeler I was quickly drawn to “The Forge” where Local Motors provides a collaborative online forum to work with other designers and vehicle enthusiasts to work on developing the next cool thing.

In the Local Motors conference area they have a white board with a list of the types of vehicles they design and it reads: Land Sea and Air vehicles. They don’t know it yet but last week I added the word ‘space’ to their list.

So, I may get my feet wet with some car body designs or graphic skins to start but I’d really like to take some of my space vehicle models and experiment with the community to find solutions for space travel, planet exploration, satellite recovery/replacement and more.

 

Photos of Rally Fighters Custom Skins


 

A Car Story: The Rally FIghter Takes Flight (11 Episodes)


 

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