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Porsche FOSS Movement

21/8/2023

In the Porsche software strategy, free and open-source software (FOSS) is becoming increasingly significant. Porsche is able to shorten development cycles, lower costs, foster creativity and talent, and enhance software quality by utilising open source software.

Next step in the Porsche open source journey

A little over two years after the initiative, the business is moving forward strategically by publishing the FOSS Movement. Porsche outlines the core ideals and tenets of free and open source software as well as the role that employees play in using it in this paper. Employees from Porsche Digital, the corporate IT, legal, and vehicle development departments, in addition to those from the Open Source Office, contributed to the growth of the FOSS Movement.

“Over the past two years, we’ve made remarkable strides and firmly anchored the use of open source within the company,” says Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Board Member for Finance and IT at Porsche AG. “I believe that with open source, we can continue to advance the digital transformation at Porsche. And we are delighted by every talented professional in the field who wants to join us in that. Our teams work closely with a global community of technology leaders. And with the Porsche FOSS Movement, they have now established a common foundation of values, principles and goals across all subsidiaries and national borders on which to build for the future.”

Consistent use of FOSS and collaboration with communities

The consistent application of open source across the organisation is one of the principles outlined in the FOSS Movement: “We strive to shift from commercial software to open source software wherever possible and useful. This gives us greater flexibility, reduces dependencies and allows us to benefit from the open source community,” says Nikita Peters, Director of Porsche Open Source Office.

The active participation in international open source communities is another aspect. The goal is to advance the open-source software movement by learning from one another and working together. This makes cross-company collaboration and knowledge sharing easier.

The Porsche Open Source Office has put in place a number of methods to accomplish these goals, including:

  • The development of lean processes as well as uniform tools based on FOSS for the automation and orchestration of open source software in all Porsche products, such as the OSS Review Toolkit and the ScanCode Toolkit project.
  • Investment in training and qualification for employees in order to ensure that the potential of open source is put to optimal use.
  • Joint development of the  in collaboration with Porsche Digital. This platform serves as one-stop shop to establish transparency on Porsche’s open source activities. This makes it easier for all Porsche employees to get involved in open source and publish code as contributors.

 

Open source drives innovation

The digital transformation at Porsche is significantly fueled by open source, which already serves as the foundation for many of the company's current software solutions, including prototype tests, the My Porsche digital platform, and the Porsche Design System. Additionally, Porsche participates in the Android Open Source Project. Because of its open philosophy, Porsche is able to examine the software code, include its own requirements into the overall project, and enhance the driving experience as a whole on a pre-existing foundation.

Beyond the technical benefits, open source initiatives like these give Porsche the chance to hire new employees and collaborate closely with a large network of technology pioneers.