The car of the future will be autonomous, connected and full of innovative information technology features. We may drive it or let it drive us. It will be a computer network on wheels. We know that it will need to interoperate and communicate automatically with other cars, cyclists, pedestrians and traffic systems in the interest of everyone's safety. What we do not know is how open the car of the future will be. Will it be like a desktop PC which will allow a user to select either Windows or Linux and choose a video card that meets specific needs? Or will it be as closed as a DVD player with region control that will not play lawfully purchased movies abroad and will have to be discarded as Blu-Ray or other disk formats emerge? The closed car remains controlled by its original manufacturer, which is in most cases a large company with a strong brand, good safety track record, well-capitalized, supported by governments, and generally considered trustworthy. The original manufacturer of a closed car retains the power to decide if and when updates and upgrades are offered for the closed car, with what functionality, and at what price. Owners of closed cars tend to have few options to add or update parts or services on their own. They may have to discard an automobile with a fine motor and design if its original manufacturer does not offer updates that are attractive, reasonably priced or perhaps even necessary in the rapidly evolving world of connected, autonomous cars. Today, owners of closed cars are already getting used to the fact that "call home" features, entertainment ports and navigation systems can become obsolete relatively quickly after purchasing a new car. They may accept functionality degradation and make do with smartphones for now. Tomorrow, however they may find it unreasonably dangerous to drive yesterday's car if it has outdated sensors, software, autonomous driving technology or safety features. They may feel compelled to discard and replace yesterday's car, unless it is open enough that they can upgrade it with the latest and safest technology, offered by any automotive technology provider, be it the OEM, an OEM-vetted supplier or a completely independent company. To qualify as an open car, an automotive product must be open for technology upgrades, aftermarket products and security researchers. It must have open interfaces and openly disclosed software and hardware. It will thrive if it is associated with open developer platforms. The open car does not need to run on open data; it can protect data privacy and security as well or better as proprietary automotive products do today. It does not require open source software either, but would work well with it. If we compare the open and closed car from a policy perspective, the open car comes out ahead based on technological, competition, sustainability and environmental considerations. Those advocating against the open car are citing concerns regarding cybersecurity, safety and data privacy; but upon closer review, challenges in these areas do not truly justify speedbumps for open cars and rather support increased openness: see, Determann/Perens, Open Cars, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2837598. Current law is not holding the open car back. Right-to-repair statutes and competition laws are providing tailwind in the United States. Onboard diagnostic ports - originally required in the interest of emission control by the California government - have become a gateway to openness and transparency. Rules affecting automotive product developments and safety have not (yet) dictated a path in either direction, open or closed. Intellectual property laws do not present any insurmountable obstacles to openness either, because they are intended to promote innovation and in many ways protect interoperability and public access. Traditional automakers seem open to embrace business models involving open platforms and standards. They have been carefully observing business models that information technology companies have successfully introduced with respect to personal computers, smartphones and other connected devices. Computers on wheels must increasingly interact and compete with other computers. But, product liability concerns and the phantom menace of cybersecurity could establish road blocks if manufacturers of open cars are held responsible for risks created by third party software or parts. Automakers might be less amenable to open their products further - or even decide to lock products down - if they are indiscriminately held responsible for cyberattacks and other harm around open cars. Courts and other lawmakers should carefully reconsider liability principles and precedents in the automotive, PC and Internet sectors, to develop an appropriate regime regarding allocation of liability and burden of proof for defective open cars.