Potential For Open-Source Car Customization Showcased On Ford Mustang Using Openxc Platform

newsla | PaddockTalk | July 26, 2013

An important part of the total gaming experience for hardcore video gamers is getting physical feedback through the controller as they keep their eyes on the screen. It’s called haptic feedback. For drivers of performance cars like Ford Mustang, feedback is just as important to understanding how the car is behaving.

Rookie Ford engineer Zach Nelson has harnessed the power of open-source hardware and software, 3D printing, wireless connectivity and Microsoft™ Xbox 360® to bring haptic feedback to a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 through a manual shift knob that vibrates at the optimal time to change gears.

“I wanted to create something that expands the car’s capabilities and improves the experience for the driver,” said Nelson. “I decided to use OpenXC to provide a new kind of feedback for the driver through the shift knob.”

Customization and personalization have been part of the Mustang experience for nearly 50 years. The earliest ads for Mustang proclaimed it as “The Car Designed to be Designed by You!” That spirit continues today, whether following the traditional route of modifying the engines, suspension and body or the modern approach to improving the driving experience through software.