mux wrote: ↑
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:11 am
Open sourcing: no, selling in a few specific varieties: yes. The leaf-specific stuff we've made is a bit too dangerous to mess with in some respects, unless we start documenting publically exactly how you can fuck stuff up. That takes time, so I don't think that will happen soon, but eventually there will be an open source leaf-specific firmware I imagine.
Do you see this as being 50/50 labor cost and safety risk, or perhaps 80/20? Developing niche software is always expensive, particularly when the hardware to go along with it is also niche, and managing the expectations of OSS consumers as to maintenance and portability is also a challenge. There are similar projects, e.g. http://www.openecu.org/
or even https://github.com/commaai/openpilot
(which steers the car!). The labor cost difficulty with OSS projects is that they tend to cannibalize non-free businesses, even those that played a founding role, and then the creators can be left without income.
As for safety, open-source licenses usually make it clear that everything is shared as-is with no warranty or guarantee of merchantability and that the developer holds no liability for its use. Real courts obviously may have their own opinions, but licenses have generally held up.
A car isn't really a utility like a web browser or a text editor or operating system. They're more of a luxury, and a complicated one at that! If you already own a car, and you want to modify it without working yourself, maybe you should be able to afford to pay someone to handle the complexity and cost of reverse-engineering. For a computing analogue, look to the Nouveau/NVIDIA driver battle: if you want to use CUDA with your fancy, expensive NVIDIA card, the incentives just aren't in place for that software to be free. CUDA ends up only being available in the proprietary NVIDIA binary blob, and Nouveau (the OSS driver) is basically a minimum viable prototype.