Collaborative design with Local Motors

Actualizado: 29 de may de 2019

Since the first computer, the internet and the development of complex programs and applications, open source, co-creation and collaborative design has allowed high tech companies to innovate, share knowledge and add value to their services rather than focusing on the end product.

The trend with the advancements in mechatronic design, open hardware, open designs and collaborative design has allowed tech hardware startups to compete in areas such as automotive, smart devices, wearables, artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality.  

Local Motors was established in 2007 right before the great recession, a moment which I describe as critical to understanding the world we live in today, a far more complex economy, immersed in the transformational force that all of these trends have allowed.

Since the creation of the Rally Fighter, Local Motors has steadily created projects that in our perspective are the arrowhead of many new developments of open designs and collaboration around the world and thus creating a new wave, a new economy, fraternal, open and free.

The world needed this new approach of microfactories, a distributed system of manufacturing, to allow wealth and prosperity, technology, innovation and equality to become a reality all around the world, and this can only be achieved by leveling the opportunities everywhere. That is the core purpose of co-creation and collaborative design.

Collaborative design serves perfectly for startups but is also a better approach to develop greater opportunities for local industrial development in underdeveloped regions, to re-shore manufacturing, and to allow countries all around the world to become technologically self sufficient while collaborating globally, which enhances trade and distribution opportunities.

Local Motors is a worldwide example of this model, a champion that has managed to make a reality of this once utopic vision of innovation. Its current collaboration model is the best approach for any type of corporation.

The industrial world will have to choose between adopting this model or keeping its closed innovation development with the risks, financial effort and highly skilled workers shortage that many European countries and companies face nowadays. Migration programs are no longer the single approach for a company to face this challenge, and given the political narrative in the Americas and Europe, we need to keep in mind that the best way to innovate right now is through co-creation.

Olli is Local Motors’ latest development and it is one of the most advanced, futuristic and integrative projects, an autonomous vehicle addressing city and local mobility challenges. The project started with other projects that premiered at the Chicago IMTS event, where its Strati was the first 3D-printed vehicle developed alongside Cincinnati Incorporated and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

All of these efforts since Local Motors started in 2007 have been a breakthrough, a glimpse into the future of industrial development, innovation and technology co-creation. Local Motors is a pioneer that has developed one by one systems and products that surpass every expectation from a company that solely relies on co-creation and collaborative design and it has proven that this system works, it’s effective and it’s capable of delivering results.

We know that most companies still believe that this approach is risky, but Local Motors has done this very well and it’s an example for corporations to embrace this process of technology creation, innovation, research and development and it’s certainly a great approach for startups to begin working on their own projects.

The future is uncertain, but we foresee that most companies in the coming decades will be more integrated, collaborative, globalized and local, helping local economies to grow and with distributed opportunities that only this type of model can achieve. Co-creation, open source, collaborative design – they’re here to stay, and we all get to see the great products and services that this approach will help companies to develop.


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