Into the (open) source


Tesla releases its patents with the open source license. But will this really happen?


Here is the news of the day - taken from OSVeichle.

Some of you may know that Tesla - the famous car manufacturer for electric cars - recently announced in a press conference (directly from the mouth of CEO Elon Musk) come - to approach the global interest that revolves around vehicles and elettcici, in general, to sustainable mobility - intend to allow access to their patents to other park users who will want to consult.

This is certainly great news, probably the most resonant in the history of modern mobility and the transport industry. At least as regards the last decades. Although this position seems to be difficult to understand according to the viewpoint typical of the companies that are trying to capture market share, this makes perfect sense if you look at the mission of Tesla: "accelerate the advent of sustainable mobility".

In this regard, But it seems that this move is not the most clear, Asthe Tesla is choosing an open source approach structured and clear: the license is not clear, there is no real platform from which to draw data relating to design patents, no design to which referenziarsi (fin'ora). In this way the process that guess is mono-directional, information and knowledge with one-way from Tesla to the rest of the world.

Also, this "opening" is not addressed to the community, young talent, to innovative startups, individual designer, but to other industrial competitors: in a way this is a slap in the face to traditional car manufacturers. I think Tesla is pretty sure that none of them will take advantage of these patents ever to preserve the brand or just for cultural resistance that may prevent the traditional companies to understand the intrinsic value. And then there is another point "dark" license: What if I improve a device covered by the license? Who is the owner of the rights? It must be licensed under open? This point is totally missed.

It is marketing?

I do not think. It could be a genuine effort of a visionary in Silicon Valley, one of the most advanced companies in the world, who has finally realized that - hold a position so open in an area so rich in the world can only bring benefits.

Tesla is developing a brand-new technology for the batteries and it is likely that if other car manufacturers produce cars based on their technology, their batteries may be produced in quantities greater and eventually transform more quickly the automotive world.

The market potential

Musk is emphasizing that there is a huge potential market for electric, and in general for sustainable mobility: the current market players are not focusing on those users; promote initiatives negligible and therefore the way for a - increasing - industrial mobility that is sustainable in the future is still a long, dangerous and incomplete.

But if Tesla really want to make a difference, must work on the real adoption of technological solutions that make it possible, must move from a product to a platform approach and - similarly to what we do ( - needs to communicate with the community, to understand how these technologies can be used and will be used, strive to ensure that every market participant to have the same access, access in clear terms that translates into "obligations" and "implications".

There is also to say that a car produced with open source licenses will only work in a future where even the production process will be distributed, a system that is able to integrate different manufacturers based on a chain of values ​​participatory, eliminating waste and obsolescence.

I'm sure Elon Musk will not stop here, Tesla and join the pool of existing companies as OSVeichle, Wikispeed, Local Motors and others that are trying to really create with the open approach, being themselves loyal to the definitions and the open source community involvement. This could potentially generate a real impact and could make possible the use of the innovations introduced by Tesla in a distributed chain of new producers, asphalting the new road mobility for the future.

Tesla is finally confirming that the approach of patent protection is no longer possible to our days, is no longer a matter of competitive advantages based on "Res", it is now time to set up companies based on long-term mission, can provide experiences to clients and solutions to society.


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.