An anonymous reader writes: An article at Ars Technica details how open source is slowly but surely working its way into the automotive manufacturing industry. A company named StreetScooter is flattening the design process, having designers and engineers work directly with suppliers right from the get-go. Another company, Local Motors, has built an open source community that's 50,000-strong, whose members include everybody from hobbyists to industrial engineers. Even the existing auto-giants are getting in on it: Ford has created OpenXC, a platform that is attempting to standardize how to get data out of a car's computer. The article concludes, "These various automotive open source advocates come at the topic from different backgrounds and with different approaches, but they can all recognize we've entered an era for open source cars that simply didn't exist before."