Open Cars

Autonomous cars are coming. Industry thought is that the hood of your future vehicle will be locked down so that only the dealer can service it, and your autonomous car will be available to you by lease only, so that the manufacturer won’t be troubled by your right to repair it.

That works great for the 1%, but what about the rest of us? What if future vehicles came with standards and plugs for the installation of autonomous driving systems, stereo and internet systems, navigation systems, and other devices that can and should be provided by the aftermarket? You might buy a car from a dealer or a used car lot, and then buy the driving system from a competitive market and have it plugged in for you.

This would also deal with the fact that a three-year-old autonomous driving computer will probably be too old to be safe, for the near future, because of the expected rapid progress in autonomous systems, while many people are perfectly happy driving 10-year-old cars.

The first paper on Open Cars has been published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. The paper was a collaboration between ORI president Bruce Perens and Boalt Hall (Berkeley Law) professor Lothar Determann.