George Hotz, CEO of driverless car startup Comma, has ousted himself and will announce his “very talented” replacement on Friday.
Hotz gained notoriety after the impressive feat of hacking the PS3 and iPhone as a teenager under the ‘Geohot’ alias. Sony even went as far as to sue Hotz for hacking their console.
While the so-called jailbreaking scene on iOS is dwindling as a result of more features being included as part of Apple’s OS itself, many appreciated Hotz’s efforts back in the day.
However, the hacking of iPhones and PlayStations is not how Hotz wants to be remembered.
“Eventually, what I want to do with my life is I want to solve AI,” Hotz told TechCrunch. “And I think that self-driving cars are still the coolest applied AI problem today.”
Hotz launched a startup called Comma.ai in 2015 which initially aimed to sell a $999 aftermarket self-driving car kit that would be able to provide some existing cars with autonomous highway-driving assistance features.
However, after receiving a letter from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration in October 2016, Hotz announced his company will be cancelling those plans. Five weeks later, Comma.ai released its code on GitHub.
Comma.ai has three hardware products available today; the Eon, Panda, and Giraffe.
Eon is a dash cam running Android which can run Waze, Spotify and Comma.ai’s app chffrplus which stores its data in the cloud. Android and iOS devices can run chffr, a stripped-down version of chffrplus, but Eon is a dedicated solution which includes a heatsink to prevent overheating.
Panda is an OBD-II device which provides users with access via WiFi and USB to a vehicle’s internal networks which relay information about various components. The software is open source and top contributors will be offered a job at Comma.ai.
Giraffe is an adapter board that gives users access to other CAN buses not exposed via OBD-II.
Combined, the various hardware components provide a vehicle with Comma.ai’s version of lane assistance and adaptive cruise control often found in high-end cars.
Hotz claims over 500 cars are now using either open pilot or chffr. The company has collected more than five million miles of driving data.
Comma.ai’s replacement CEO is expected to be announced Friday on the company’s Medium blog.
What are your thoughts on Comma.ai’s journey so far? Let us know in the comments.
(Image Credit: George Hotz, Amphitheater by SHARE Conference used via CC BY-SA 2.0)