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Connecting Daimler to Open Source Communities


Automobile companies are now technology companies. Open source is ubiquitous and plays a central role in tech development and operations. In today’s constantly evolving markets, companies that consistently innovate, most quickly, at the least cost, will win. Not using open source software places companies at a disadvantage.

Mario Behling

Daimler AG, commonly known and referred to as Mercedes-Benz, or simply as Daimler, is a German multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. It is one of the world’s leading car and truck manufacturers.


Our solution

The company plans to launch several new projects as open source. How to kick-start an open source community and how to ensure there are no legal issues?
There are a number of questions and discussions in a company involved before a project can be open sourced. In order to solve this goal the idea was to kick-start the development of a best practice guide.The very first conversation about doing an open source project should be with the appropriate tech members as well as the legal team. It is important to lay out exactly how the process should take place and to clarify a formalized repeatable process for open-sourcing projects.
While using open source software brings many advantages, it can introduce risks and ​additional operational complexity to software development processes.
In a series of workshops we brought together a group of decision makers and legal experts from Daimler with key stakeholders and long-term developers in the global FOSS community with the goal to raise awareness and develop a plan for operations in projects that integrate open source code. Furthermore we discussed development operations when collaborating with open source community developers.
How to obtain technical support and updates for different open source components in a project? Open source communities can provide support, but usually on a volunteer basis. For professional support an organisation needs to participate with their own developer resources.
Participation in an open source / FOSS projects requires a cultural shift in companies and teams of an organisation. In in-depth workshops and meetings with dedicated teams we introduced development models and ways to engage with open source projects.


Daimler has established several open source projects. The company became a member of the Linux Foundation and other Open Source organizations. An annual FOSS conference at Daimler was established and dedicated companies were established to foster the development of specific technologies in cooperation with the FOSS developer community.
Daimler and Open Source
Daimler uses Free and Open Source software within several of its products and thrives to support and collaborate with the Open Source community. Automakers are becoming software companies, and just like in the tech industry Open Source is the way forward. At the keynote Daimler will outline its engagement in the Open Source community and plans for the future. Daimler is the first German automaker that joined the development of Automotive Grade Linux to help build the next generation connected car platform. The company is also a member of the Linux Foundation and Hyperledger.

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