At the Convergence 2008 automotive electronics conference this week, BMW has revealed that it is looking for partners to develop an open-source car computing platform that would allow third-party suppliers to develop plug-and-play applications for their vehicles. The company is enthusiastic about the potential for such a system, particularly mentioning how open platforms are able to keep pace with the rapid advances in technology.

Though no other car makers are yet officially on board, it seems BMW will be moving ahead with or without any assistance, claiming it plans to have the open-source system in a vehicle selling 200,000 or more units over the next five to seven years. It’s good to see BMW is keeping an open mind with the software they use in their cars, not to mention this could be an important development for Linux in the mobile and embedded system markets.

A number of other automakers have also expressed interest in open platforms, including Honda and Ford, which currently use Microsoft-developed systems for their vehicles.