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Geohot's startup Comma.ai open sources its self-driving software

By Jos
Dec 1, 2016 at 5:45 PM
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  1. George Hotz became well-known for being the first to come up with an iPhone jailbreak and reverse-engineering the PlayStation 3 gaming console — which led to a widely publicized legal battle with Sony. Capitalizing on his fame, he turned his attention to more ambitious endeavors, building his own aftermarket device to give any relatively modern car advanced autopilot features.

    The device, dubbed Comma One, was set to retail at $999 and included front radar sensors and a camera. But after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent Hotz a letter in October asking him to detail how the product works and the steps taken by the company for safety compliance, the project came to an abrupt end. Hotz claimed he would much rather spend his life building amazing tech than dealing with regulators and lawyers, and that Comma.ai would look to other products and markets.

    While Comma One will no longer see the light of day as a market-ready device, Hotz has announced he would be giving away its self-driving software, dubbed Open Pilot, for free. The code and plans for compatible hardware can be found on Github, and according to the description it “performs the functions of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) for Hondas and Acuras.”

    It should be noted that the software won’t turn your vehicle into a fully autonomous car. It also requires quite a bit of tinkering as assembling the system requires a OnePlus 3 phone as well as some 3D printing and soldering skills, so it’s mostly geared as an early alpha for hobbyists, researchers, big automakers, and after-market manufacturers to sink their teeth on.

    Comma.ai stresses that researchers are responsible for complying with local laws. As noted by Consumerist, an autonomous vehicle isn’t allowed on a public road without a permit that comes with $5 million in insurance, and a demonstrable training program for drivers.

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  2. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    Open sourcing is just another way of saying that you cant accomplish some project so you put it out to see who all will work on it and then take it back and implement it and take all the credit. what a set of dusch bags these guys are
     
  3. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 336   +132

    Not necessarily Jack. Once open sourced, you can't 'take it back'. There is not a single court in the land that would uphold any IP claims after you release it into the public domain. But open sourcing does let an entire community take your work and build in the features they wanted, but you never had the resources to implement.

    Back on topic: what kind of advantage does this provide over something like the Robotic Operating System (ROS)? ROS is open source as well, but probably much easier to extend and modify for your make and model car. You'll also have an established community to help you out when you inevitably hit a wall (no pun intended).

    But yeah, these guys do come across attention wh***s.
     

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