After the self-driving car, the do-it-yourself car?
Google is reportedly about to buy out Italian-Chinese startup OSVehicle, in a move that could shake up the automotive industry*
“This is a momentous day for me, for my sister Yuki and for all of the OSVehicle family. This afternoon, we announced that we will be acquired by Google”.
With these words, Tin Hang Liu, co-founder and current CEO of Italian-Chinese company OSVehicle announced yesterday the forthcoming buyout operation of his company. Throughout the past 15 years the Mountain View giant has been surprising its admirers and opponents with innovative ideas and products that have changed (for the good) the life of billions. So what is OSVehicle exactly? Why is Google acquiring this small startup?
OSVehicles was created with the aim of applying the disruptive open source model to the automotive industry. Basically, as the Android operating system has been available for further development by third parties, so the original platform of the small car designed by OSVehicle is available for further development by anyone who is interested in it. Within this framework, OSVehicle provides the basic components of the car at low price and the customer decides to develop it the way he wants, be it for urban use, for off-road, and so on. This fits perfectly in the circular economy concept. There are of course significant issues to be tackled (for example, permits by the national authorities in charge of transport), however the business model is very promising and the bet is set to be won sooner or later. For the time being this does not put into question the centralized business model of large car manufacturers, but who knows? One cannot exclude that the decentralized production of cars will disrupt the current business model sooner than we think, exactly as the decentralized production of electricity through renewable energy is changing the energy system.
We do not have further details on the buyout, but we can expect that through OSVehicle, Google will challenge the market positions of current vehicle manufacturers and will make this industry sector more dynamic and perhaps more sustainable.
So, congratulations for the deal and good luck!
* This was just an April fool! Well done guys!