Comma.ai kit: Wow, Mountain View to SF without touching the wheel?

Credit: Comma.ai

(Tech Xplore)—Comma.ai is not a thesis paper editing service—in case you tried to guess. This is a business focused on self-driving.

Well, actually, not fully self-driving but, as Jon Fingas said in Engadget, the company is offering a semi-autonomous driving kit. Its name is Comma One. The company name has a subhead of "Ghostriding for the masses."

How would you like to taste what it would be like to experience self-driving movement? For under $25 a month ($24, actually) your car is made semi-autonomous That is the price for a monthly subscription for software. The Comma One is $999 and it hopes to roll out this year.

The TechCrunch explanation is that "It doesn't have a lot of sensors as the Comma One relies on built-in car front radars and comes with a camera."

Fingas said that "If it comes anywhere close to the hype, though, it'll be a big deal—it's a readily available, vaguely affordable add-on that will give you a taste of the self-driving future without forcing you to buy a new car."

George Hotz is founder of Comma.ai.

"If they [Tesla] are the iOS of self-driving cars, we want to be Android," Hotz said in TechCrunch.

You remove your and you replace it with Comma One. Looks as if the team does not lack a sense of humor. The Twitter message to viewers was that "the comma one: comes in any color you want as long as it's neon green."

It's Mountain View to SF without touching the wheel? OK, for those feeling more than a tad nervous, just what happens? It's not a kit that makes your car into a fully self-driving vehicle, according to the report in TechCrunch. MIT Technology Review also said the unit is not to be taken as something that will turn a car into a fully autonomous machine.

Joel Stocksdale in Autoblog said Wednesday the device has a screen on the front and a pair of cameras on the back. He said, "We should point out that we don't know yet how well the system works, though we hope to find out soon."

iTech Post discussed more: Comma One is meant to be attached to an existing vehicle; it comes fit with a screen on its front and a pair of cameras on the back, "but is only the size of a phablet or a standard navigation system." The report said the Comma One has the capability to react to different driving situations.

(TechCrunch said Comma One relies on built-in front radars and comes with a camera.)

"The $999 price point is designed to be affordable, and is possible because of the components Comma uses in its product, which tend to be inexpensive off-the-shelf electronics," said TechCrunch.

When will it be available? Hotz said in TechCrunch that "We're going to try our best to ship it before the end of the year," in limited quantity. More information about its availability will be revealed soon, the report added.

You can check out the company's blogspot for information too.

Explore further: More radar, triple-camera system for next Autopilot version?

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