Mercedes-Benz Drives Innovation Through Open Source Collaboration

Giancarlo Perlas November 10, 2023

Mercedes-Benz has embarked on a groundbreaking journey towards digital transformation under the banner “Enterprise Transformation—100% Digital.” In a daring move, the company has embraced Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) as a cornerstone for driving its digital ecosystem going forward.

Mercedes-Benz FOSS
Mercedes-Benz FOSS (Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Media)

Embracing FOSS for Accelerated Innovation

Mercedes-Benz is not merely using FOSS; it is actively intensifying its collaboration with the open-source community. According to Jan Brecht, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, the technology is not just a means of cost reduction but a strategy to attract top talent and expedite innovation in the fiercely competitive automotive landscape.

The company is strategically integrating the platform in various facets, from vehicle development to integrated software, mobile applications, and enterprise software. The automaker recognizes the system as a catalyst for innovation, fostering efficiency in software development and leveraging existing components to stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

Cultural Transformation with the FOSS Manifesto

To fortify its commitment to the open-source ethos, the three-pointed star marque introduced the Mercedes-Benz FOSS Manifesto in early 2021. This internal guideline encourages developers not only to use existing FOSS but also to actively contribute to open-source projects and publish their own innovations. This issuance acts as a catalyst for cultural change within the organization, promoting global collaboration and learning through inner source methodologies.

The company is actively promoting awareness of open and inner source, employing organizational roles, online training, and an internal lecture series for knowledge exchange. Over 10,000 active users engage in collaborative platforms, exemplifying Mercedes-Benz’s dedication to driving digital innovation through the daily use of FOSS.

FOSS Community Engagement and Recognition

Mercedes-Benz is not just a user but a staunch supporter of the FOSS community. The company backs the community through sponsorships, memberships in key FOSS organizations, and by hosting the Mercedes-Benz FOSS Convention. The said convention, held at the iconic Mercedes-Benz Museum, serves as a platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and creativity among FOSS experts within the company and enthusiasts, developers, and community members globally.

Actively participating in open-source conferences with lectures and workshops, Mercedes-Benz has received accolades for its positive influence on the FOSS community. Notably, the company was honored with the Open Source Program Office (OSPO) Leadership Award at the GitHub Universe conference in San Francisco. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) also recognized the Mercedes-Benz Tech Innovation GmbH, a subsidiary, with the Top End User Award in 2023, highlighting the company’s commitment to innovation in cloud-native technologies.

Driving the Future: A Software-Driven Company

Magnus Östberg, Chief Software Officer at Mercedes-Benz AG, emphasizes the significance of the Mercedes-Benz FOSS Convention as a pivotal step toward becoming a software-driven company. The convention exemplifies the company’s dedication to contributing to the open-source community, fostering an environment of knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Final Thoughts

Mercedes-Benz’s embrace of Free and Open Source Software is not merely a technological choice but a strategic move to stay ahead in the digital era. The company’s commitment to active participation, cultural transformation through the FOSS Manifesto, and community engagement positions Mercedes-Benz as a trailblazer in the automotive industry’s digital evolution.

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About Author

Giancarlo Perlas

Giancarlo Perlas is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations, particularly in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. Alongside his civic and corporate pursuits is his love for cars, particularly those made by Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, he found himself with like-minded individuals within BenzInsider. From then on, he used the platform as a way to share his passion with the automotive community. Follow his Facebook page at, X (formerly Twitter) @giancarloperlas, and IG @benzinsider. View all posts by Giancarlo Perlas →

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