back to article German engineers punt 'open source' OLED-clad car

With the Geneva Motor Show on the horizon, German engineering services provider EDAG has released a preview of what it hopes will be one of the stars of the 2009 Swiss auto gathering: the “Light Car – Open Source”, a concept it is describing as “visionary and courageous”. The LC-OS consists of a rolling chassis that can be …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Web Advertising 3.0

    Drive a car... and display and ad from the Google boys... dynamic updates as you move around the city... camouflage yourself... oh the joys could be fantastic. Even better would be the 'hack the OS car'... and get it to display 'Female driver', 'stopping for the cat'...'wanna race?'...

    How long till a patent troll gets their claws in?...

  2. DJ

    So how do you register it?

    Colour: Currently showing windows XP blue screen of death on the bonnet, green on top and large offensive lettering on the rear window.

  3. ben


    Are OLEDS bright enough to pass the minimum EU requirement for braking lights on a car?

    Would you trust them in fog?

  4. Jerome


    “visionary and courageous” - a marketing term meaning "unspeakably ridiculous".

  5. Alastair Dodd

    considering the cost of the largest OLED tv

    at the moment is around 2 grand for a 11 inch model, these guys have been smoking and a tokin' lots.. (not forgetting the abysmal MTBF for oleds)

  6. uhuznaa

    Oh my...

    I'm still waiting for a simple, cheap, modular electric car with none of all this nonsense. Where's the modern electric equivalent of the old VW Beetle or Citroen 2CV?

  7. Caff


    So a few webcams and use the bodywork for optical camoflage?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I want one

    I have often wanted the ability to press a button on my dashboard and have a rude message pop up on the front/back of the car, never thought about the sides or the roof (for those police in ‘copter types)

    Mind you the amount of road rage might just go up a bit....

  9. Arnold Lieberman
    Thumb Down

    Chassis and body panels - which century are we in?

    So we're going to get a car that is heavier than it needs to be (separate chassis and body), has worse handling (high unsprung weight from the motors) and will be useless in five years, regardless of use (LiIon battery lifetime is not dependent on usage) and looks like a Ford Ka on acid.

  10. The BigYin

    It is running Windows for Cars?

    Will we soon see lots of bright blue cars stopped by the road and the driver trying to re-boot?

    Meanwhile the smug buggers in their VW Penguin will waft past.

  11. Christopher A Light
    Thumb Down

    Another no hoper

    90 miles?

    When the batteries are brand new.

    Than hours to recharge.

    And an absolute fortune to replace when shagged.

    Why do these guys keep on doing this?

    There's only one way to go - hydrogen fuel cell.

    So - WHY keep attempting to flog a technology that simply isn't up to the requirements of real world users? Do these guys get some sort of subsidy? Tax breaks?

  12. Geoff Mackenzie

    Want one!

    Since it's open source, can I have one for free? I don't need support. :-)

  13. nobby


    I, and many other capsuleers, have heard of "plagioclase" before - its one of the Ores you go Mining for in Eve-online.

    Interested to know its a real Ore.

    Or, maybe, this is just a tech-demo for the next patch for Eve.

  14. Steven Jones

    Basalt Fibre

    Basalt Fibre can indeed by made from chunks of the Giant's Causeway (albeit melted down and squirted through a nozzle). For an interesting read (if only to appreciate the inventive language), then there's this little article from Uzbekistan.

    As far as the car goes, it looks like anybody with a graphics package seems to be drawing up designs for automotive vapourware. Gimmickry like OLED panels aren't going to get us usable vehicles.

    ps. could The Register also come up with something nicer sounding than 'leccy tech for this subject area.

  15. Wize

    I've wanted to send messages to the car behind

    Thought about one of those bit LED matrix. Just to tell tailgaters that the closer they get, the slower I'll go.

    Trouble with software controlled brakelights. What if the computer crashes while driving?

  16. Greg


    One giant OLED? Oh man, the stuff I could do with that...

    Must cost a bit thought!

  17. g e

    OLED rear window for an enormo break light (sic)

    We were only talking the other day in the office about paint jobs for cars and I said I wanted an OLED 'paint' job as it'd be fab for allsorts of mischief including of course messages like 'Why don't you come in for tea?' to tailgaters and printing excerpts from the Highway code to assorted other drivers (#267 - overtaking safely springs to mind).

    I particularly liked the idea of displaying the view of a rear-facing camera on the back of the car to the driver behind you too ;o)

  18. Smallbrainfield
    Thumb Up

    OLED panels, eh?

    Now you can really tell that fool that just cut you up what you think of him, with diagrams.

    A new era of road rage beckons, methinks.

  19. jubtastic1
    Thumb Up

    I like this concept

    Modular cars, fashionable bits reduced to a cheap skin, easy to repair & maintain, OLED panels are wishful thinking/news pitch seeing as no one makes big or cheap enough panels yet, but again the concept of software driven contextual displays is nice, assuming they ban animated advertising anyway heh.


    Many years ago my fly-by-night bike firm prototyped Electroluminescent panels on a Yamaha R1, and it was simply breathtaking, On the way to Le Mans the French fuzz flagged him down then insisted he turned them on so they could fawn at it. We never did manage to waterproof them sufficiently so we dropped it in the end but you see them on endurance bikes and cars on the night races.


  20. Mark
    Thumb Up


    A car that will enable me to display rude targeted messages to tailgaters, or cheesy chatup lines to the hot chick in the sports car behind/next to me.

    The futures looking good!!! :D

  21. Pete James

    Some interesting ideas

    Okay, the use of the term 'open source' is a bit wonky to geekworld but beyond that it's a curio. Intersting that basalt is being pushed. It's been around for a good few years. It's a good material and has some real plus points over the likes of steel, GRP and carbon fibre, as you pointed out. Very good for fire protection iirc as the melting point is very high.

    The styling is the usual wet dream and they really should learn to use the width more effectively for crash protection and storage options. However the dimensions are fairly close to the original mini, which is encouraging. About time someone made a serious effort on space efficiency.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    FTW! Next time someone's tailgating me, the whole back panel of my car is going to light up with a huge goatse pic. That should make clear that they're driving way too close up my arse!

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Price tag?

    Did I miss the estimated cost of this thing? 10k, 20k, 30k, 40k, 50k...come on now....give us some idea. 110V, 220V....plug in an inverter to the lighter and charge the car on itself? more, we want more!...and playmobil piccys to go with it.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    AC 14:07 GMT

    Why recharge? why not just power your electric car directly from the cigarette lighter!

    I once travelled half way across the country to see my brother by electric lawn mower.

    They made a film about it.

    Of course I would have succeeded if only the power cable had reached further then the end of the road.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ nobby

    Yes, the ores in EVE are roughly based on real ones. Some have the same name e.g. plagioclase, some have similar names to RL minerals, like veldspar (feldspar), as well as some of the minerals (tritanium)

  26. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Interesting idea..

    Few problems though.. One is that this will cost a lot, have a relatively low life and cost a lot to repair.

    Another is that if these cars were manufactured commercially, then they would be dangerous if they allowed animated displays (these displays would distract other drivers and may cause crashes). So, the government would inevitably ban animated displays on vehicles.

    It would be nice though...

  27. Lionel Baden
    Thumb Up




  28. J


    Make an airplane out of that plagioclase thing and Wonderwoman can finally be reality!

  29. Anonymous Coward

    yay for doggers!

    could make for better dogging, large rear screen, couple of webcams inside, could dog to larger crowds ^^

  30. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


    Does it fly yet?

  31. Big Pete
    Black Helicopters

    Your all missing the best use

    A camera on one side being displayed on the other and you have a stealth car.

  32. gogomobile

    Those who hate tailgators..!!

    Ya know, if you look at the other side of the coin, those who are were tailgated should get a reality check by a psychiatrist. The sort of "I'm the big shot" attitude, disregard to driving etiquette and disregards to others while on the road, like driving too slow on the right lane, makes this car handy to display the Middle Finger!

  33. Anthony Chambers

    Sounds like crap to me

    Just like that optical laptop thing a few years back

  34. Psymon


    I have an unshakable feeling that a significat percentage of the people complaining about tailgating are the ones with the warning fish symbol on the back.

    You know, the fish symbol placed on the rear of cars to warnthe rest of the world:

    "Yes, I drive everywhere at 10mph below the speed limit, never check my mirrors (for fear of spotting the 3ml tailback I've created), always take an extra 3 seconds to pull away after the lights go green, and couldn't get out of a junction on a mildly busy road if my life depended on it"

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