1. Meet the iPhone hacker who is building the ‘Google’ of self-driven cars

Meet the iPhone hacker who is building the ‘Google’ of self-driven cars

George Hotz, the famous iPhone and PlayStation hacker is coming big on his plans for do-it-yourself self-driving cars. He was reportedly working on the car project but had to cancel it in October.

By: | Updated: December 1, 2016 6:47 PM
George Hotz, Open Pilot, Comma Neo, Comma.ai, self driving car, autonomous cars, tesla The new software and hardware together give somewhat similar functionality as that of Autopilot 7. Autopilot 7 is the last version of the autonomous software of Tesla. (Reuters)

George Hotz, the famous iPhone and PlayStation hacker is coming big on his plans for do-it-yourself self-driving cars. He was reportedly working on the car project but had to cancel it in October. But due to several problems Hotz had to stop the project, he did not lose hope. His company Comma.ai decided to stop selling the product in its physical form and instead decided to release the autonomous car software along with the plans for the required hardware known as the Comma Neo. The programs for the software is available for free now on Github.

During a press event held at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, Hotz reportedly said that his self-driving software called the Open Pilot is ‘and open source alternative to Tesla’s autopilot. According to him, the new software and hardware together give somewhat similar functionality as that of Autopilot 7. Autopilot 7 is the last version of the autonomous software of Tesla.

But there is a catch, as not everybody can work with the Open Pilot and Comma Neo just using the program present on Github. Firstly, only specific Acuras and Hondas can be worked upon. There is also a requirement of a particular operating system and it only works on the OnePlus 3 smartphone. According to Hotz, it is the only smartphone which is open enough to support the specs especially the Snapdragon 820 processor as well as the high definition cameras required. Additionally, there is also a need of 3D printing Comma Neo housing.

Hotz recently tweeted, “Would much rather spend my life building amazing tech than dealing with regulators and lawyers. It isn’t worth it.” Hotz’s startup Comma.ai was known to bring a $999 aftermarket kit that would deliver semi-autonomous driving abilities. The open-sourcing of code has led to great feedback from developers alike. After pushing the code on Github people already started to work their ways around it. Although it is only available in only two car models, yet with such aggressive pricing, it can give Tesla a serious competition.

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