OSVehicle has announced the EDIT, a modular self driving car. OSVehicle are a startup that specialize in creating “White label solutions” for automakers. The EDIT is designed to be a base upon which manufacturers can design their own vehicles with specific purposes in mind.
OSVehicle have been quietly working on their modular self driving car for around a year now. Their aim, in their own words, is to “To democratize mobility by enabling businesses and startups to design, prototype and build custom electric vehicles and transportation services”. OSVehicle want to shakeup a traditionally conservative automotive industry by providing an open chassis upon which businesses and startups can design their own vehicles. This would allow businesses to tailor the vehicle to their specific needs and allows people to purchase a vehicle designed for a purpose rather than a brand.
OSVehicle began their journey with the TABBY, named after the tabby cat, which was designed to be an open source platform for electric vehicles. While all of the OSVehicle blueprints are available for free and can be used by anybody the production process can still be expensive. The TABBY EVO aggregated the needs of multiple customers in order to keep costs down. They estimate that the TABBY EVO could save businesses over $80,000 compared to producing a vehicle on their own.
OSVehicle sought to build on the TABBY EVO with the EDIT. Designed using feedback from the TABBY EVO, the EDIT will be highly customizable so that a company can adapt it to any purpose. It is also runs on an environmentally friendly electric engine and will be able to use any level of autonomous driving technology.
The coolest aspect of the EDIT is definitely the module system. OSVehicle wants to encourage other companies to develop modules for their vehicle and make them open source. The hope is that this will encourage rapid development of products using their platform and encourage more businesses to choose the EDIT as more modules are produced and the vehicles become more versatile.
The EDIT is designed to be a “Vehicle as a service” that will tailor a vehicle towards its application and purpose rather than just a brand. It’s a novel approach that will likely appeal to smaller delivery and ride sharing businesses. It remains to be seen whether their innovation will be able to displace established brands.
I think that the EDIT has a lot of potential. It would be great to see OSVehicle’s innovative modular self driving car break into a market dominated by big brands.