Your car: The next frontier for personal IT

One day, your car may become the ultimate mobile machine for getting work done.

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Every new car is full of computers and electronics, and there is growing interest in connecting the output from those systems to third-party applications and the web. Many companies are already offering tools to hook into the driver's interface, but for the most part they have limited availability for hobbyists and developers. What if the system was designed from the ground up to be open source and to give insight into the vehicle itself? With proper hardware isolation to ensure you can't "brick" your $20,000 investment in a car, OpenXC imagines when your car is as easy to program as your smartphone.

Ford has been holding workshops around the country for people who want to develop using OpenXC, including last month in San Francisco's tech-heavy South of Market neighborhood.

You can expect other car makers to follow. And given there's money to be made, developers will follow as well. Eventually, the apps will include productivity apps as well as information and entertainment ones. And from then on, your car will be a productivity machine, not just one for getting you from one place to another.

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