An aftermarket device that replaces your rear view mirror will ship at the end of the year, giving your car self-driving capability, said Comma.ai which makes the new device called Comma One.
The $999 kit may be installed by the user. It has a built-in camera, and is designed to work initially with cars that have a front radar system, particularly Honda and Acura vehicles.
Comma.ai founder George Hotz—the first hacker to unlock an iPhone—started the company a year ago after turning down a contract with Tesla.
He developed dash cam apps “chiffr” and “dash,” whose 730 users allowed Hotz to collect over 300,000 miles of driving data to apply to the Comma One in software and machine learning.
Comma One will be available with a $24/month subscription fee. It will be offered first to select owners of Honda and Acura vehicles with front radar who live in the San Francisco Bay area.
Hotz notes that even with a device like the Comma One, a driver must be ready to take over the car’s controls at any time. He likens the device’s capability to a student driver that you have to watch. But he said its ability is about on par with Tesla’s AutoPilot.
“Like a fancy cruise control, you have to pay attention, but that being said, you don’t have to touch it,” he claimed. Of the dangers of the new self-driving technology he said, you are not at risk of the system suddenly veering you into a wall, but the system might fail in not braking hard enough if a car cuts you off. For that reason, drivers must remain vigilant.
That said, Hotz claims a Comma One user can drive from Mountain View to San Francisco without touching the wheel, the brake or the gas.
The Comma One was presented at Tech Crunch Disrupt this week.