Meet EDIT: The World's First Self-Driving Modular Car You Can Customize

After spending a year in hiding and gathering information from their open-source platform, OSVehicle is going to launch "EDIT". This electric vehicle will be fully customizable and features five different stages of driving automation.


May 21 2019, Updated 4:44 p.m. ET

Imagine the next car you buy is essentially a blank sheet of paper you can customize to fit your personal driving style and preferences. That's exactly what OSVehicle, a startup out of Silicon Valley, hopes to provide with their new project called 'EDIT,' an innovative vehicle that aims to be the world's first modular self-driving car.  Though the company has been working on the project for over a year, they've only recently unveiled details on what we can expect EDIT to look like.

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Designed and engineered with service companies in mind, the car is a great choice for everything from delivering pizzas to car or ride sharing. It's essentially “future-proof” with the the variety of customization and upgrade features it offers. Any company can tailor the car to their needs with alternative frontends, backends, and rooftops. Is there a need to keep delivery pizza hot? An oven can be installed. Want to keep beverages cold as you’re delivering them to a party? Fridges can also be planted into the vehicle.

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EDIT was created thanks to feedback and data received from the company’s open source electric vehicle, the “TABBY EVO.” Other companies were free to purchase the framework for their own use, building off of the structure or simply learning about the electric vehicle without putting so many resources into it. It was an upgrade to a prior open-source EV, which improved upon its structure and speed. 

With so much customization that EDIT provides for drivers, one would think that costs would be through the roof when it comes to creating these vehicles or needing to make any repairs. Since the cars will all have a similar structure, OSVehicle says this isn’t the case. In fact, they claim “fleets can last more than 20 years.” Modular vehicles also have the convenience of easy-to-replace necessities, such as the motor and batteries.

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Being a “white-label” vehicle means that the entire product can be customized to a specific company’s logos and colors. The startup will not impose their own brand into the design as the focus is made for the company using it. Since all cars will have a similar build, TechCrunch reports that they’ll have an “advantage being that it’s faster to market (half the time in fact) and with lower investments (around one-sixth of the cost).”

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There will be five different levels of autonomous driving that can be added in the vehicle. For those that don’t require it, they can completely skip the option. Otherwise, it can go all the way to full automation and no installation of a driver’s seat, steering wheel, or dashboard. On OSVehicle’s website, it gives the example of two seats facing each other with a table in the middle. Essentially, people can work on their laptops while the car does all the work of getting them to a different place.

Steering wheels are still in the car from stage four and lower. That stage still allows the car to completely drive itself, but it can be taken over by a human at anytime. The lowest stage provides some assistance, but the driver will be in complete control during the entire trip.

Pricing stages and availability hasn’t been released by OSVehicle yet, but they state this information will be announced soon. Anybody interested in getting the info early can apply for it on their website. EDIT is backed by Y Combinator, who has funded nearly 1,500 startups since 2005. Companies such as Dropbox, Twitch, Reddit, Stripe, Airbnb, and Coinbase have all been backed by them. They see brilliant promise in the new electric service vehicle, and it’s hard to see why not.


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