DIY, After-Market, Open Source, Semi-Autonomous Driving Kit
In the chaos of the race for fully driverless technology, would it be so surprising that a creative, nimble start-up would win? Thanks to George Hotz, former hacker and current CEO of Comma.ai, you can turn your Corolla into a semi-autonomous vehicle:
In order to compete with the larger companies like Tesla and GM, Hotz is going directly to consumers. Using three gadgets, Hotz says he can override the driver assist systems of any late model Toyota or Honda vehicle, and replace it with his own openpilot software. Together, these gadgets allow drivers to use Hotz’s version of lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control — all without having to touch the steering wheel. “We’re halfway to a consumer product,” he says. “The hardware is all available for sale in our shop. And the software will all be on our GitHub by the time this article goes live. Every line of code you see running in this car is open source.”
If Hotz is successful, this is a possible game-changer. Tesla, Waymo, and the big players are under the assumption that new cars must be built with driverless capabilities. Comma.ai flips that assumption on its head. The cost-savings possibilities, alone, make after-market, driverless technology intriguing.
Hotz is also a skeptic of a driverless, ride-sharing future:
“The self-driving service already exists,” he says. “It’s called Uber, it works pretty good. The self-driving version will just take you 50 percent longer to get to your destination.”
With only 200 active users, Comma.ai is tiny, but most definitely worth keeping an eye on.