Automotive technology start-up Comma.ai, which has been doing the news rounds for some time now, has revealed its new add-on semi-autonomous driving system that could be potentially used with any vehicle.
The company says the system will cost just $999 and will start selling them before the year runs out – with the unveil taking place at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF earlier this month. Company founder George Hotz says the Comma One system is not something that will magically turn your car into an autonomous vehicle – but instead deliver semi-driverless functionality much like the Tesla Autopilot. It deploys a box that is attached to the headliner and like in the earliest iteration of the Autopilot has a camera that gathers most of the data, while the system is also linked to the car’s own array of sensors. When it launches, Comma One will of course have a limited compatibility with a specific amount of cars, but the start-up hopes to increase the range of compatibility soon.
“It’s Mountain View to San Francisco without touching the wheel. It is fully functional. It’s about on par with Tesla Autopilot,” commented Hotz. The price point is accessible due to Comma.ai’s use of inexpensive, off-the-shelf components – and users only have to pay a monthly software subscription of $24 after the upfront cost. “If they are the iOS of self-driving cars, we want to be Android,” he noted about Tesla.