The company that almost sold an aftermarket $999 autonomous vehicle conversion kit, is at it again, this time with a “Fitbit for the car.”
It has now introduced the Panda.
Panda is a small OBD2 device with USB and WiFi. When combined with an app and other software it acts as a digital dashcam that connects to the cloud. It converts your smartphone to a DVR, and also charges your phone. It also gathers driving data on items like acceleration, braking and gas mileage.
It’s only $88 and it’s aimed at driving enthusiasts, but it requires the use of sophisticated software as well as an app.
Developer George Hotz told TechCrunch, “Think of it like a Fitbit but for your car. People like seeing data from their bodies and I want to give them that same access but for their car.”
Panda might help you see how fast your car can accelerate with a full tank of gas versus a half tank.
Hotz is known as the first person to hack the iPhone so that it could be used on networks other than AT&T. He was 17 at the time. He also developed the Comma one self -driving kit but canceled it after receiving a letter from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asking for info to ensure the product’s safety. Violation could lead to fines up to $21,000/day so he stopped the project and opened up the code to the public.
His company Comma AI is now producing the Panda, which requires the use of sophisticated software called Cabana and an app. The software, Cabana, is also used for developing self-driving technology.