Renowned hacker George Hotz built this autonomous driving system using readily-available components

By Shawn Knight
Dec 17, 2015
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  1. George Hotz may not be a name you're familiar with but in the modding community, he's practically a living legend. Known online as "Geohot," he became the first person to hack Apple's original iPhone at the ripe age of 17 and later reverse-engineered the PlayStation 3 (Sony wasn't thrilled about that).

    These days, he's turned his attention to much bigger endeavors - like building his own autonomous driving system.

    Hotz recently invited Bloomberg to check out his creation, one that he's been developing in secret. He's taken a standard-issue 2016 Acura ILX sedan and outfitted it with an array of sensors, cameras, computers, GPS units and more - all of which connect to the car's main computer systems. In total, he's spent just $50,000 on the project - $30,000 of which was for the car itself.

    Two major breakthroughs are said to make the tinkerer's project possible: the continued rise in computer processing power and advances in deep learning.

    Bloomberg writer Ashlee Vance checked back in with Hotz a few more times after their initial meeting. Each time, the self-driving system performed much better than it previously had. Remarkably enough, Hotz claims his software consists of just 2,000 lines of codes compared to the hundreds of thousands of lines used in other autonomous driving vehicles.

    Hotz aims to have a world-class autonomous driving system ready in just five months that he will present to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. It's pretty incredible how advanced his system already is, a true testament to the brilliance of a young man with a very bright future ahead.

    Images courtesy Peter Bohler, Bloomberg

    Permalink to story.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,535   +288

    => Geohot <wherever you are>, majorly impressive.
    Reehahs and dms96960 like this.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,142   +482

    I'm impressed and I also feel really stupid.
  4. Mandark

    Mandark TS Booster Posts: 76   +22

    When it's a real product, I might then be interested. Google is learning that automated vehicles can't deal with pushy and aggressive drivers that well. There are many obstacles, this stuff is in it's infancy here. Give it 100 years and A LOT OF TESTING AND REGULATION. I don't want the Wild West out there, like Android phone apps.
    wastedkill likes this.
  5. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,617   +494

    What would you trust? A company that has invested millions in R&D to develop, test, fine tune, and enhance the technology. Or somebody who through together $20,000 in hardware and has done very little real world testing, which is really the biggest obstacle to overcome in this field. And then he admits hes going to try to sell it to Tesla ASAP, that doesn't impress me at all, sounds like he's trying to make a quick buck off a technology that isn't fully understood yet.

    And the fact that he's done it with 2000 lines of code just means he's not taking as many variables into consideration, or otherwise cutting corners, at least I can only imagine that's the case, given his limited road testing.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    And he himself in the video, left the door open to ignorance on his part. As long as he remains open minded we should also.
  7. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Booster Posts: 121   +49

    I still don't understand Adhmuz how you can not be impressed with someone who takes it upon himself to look at an entire funded team at Google and the likes, and say, "I can do that, I will try" and not only that can do it in a couple of years with much less code.

    Not only that he has done it differently by not following the rules that the car should do this and that, you yourself said that Google and the likes are unable to get it to understand road users and human error / thought. I am watching this thinking how scary it is that, it sounds like he has 2000 lines that don't teach a car to drive but tell it how to learn.

    It's always the quiet ones, and Geohotz has been quiet for 2 years. Impressed and worried at the same time.
    SirChocula and cliffordcooley like this.

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