Geohot Makes His Autonomous Driving Tech Open-Source Following NHTSA Inquiry

Did you ever wonder what happened to Comma One? George Hotz (a.k.a geohot), the developer of Comma One and the owner of the company, announced on Twitter that his creation is now open-source. It has been renamed “Open Pilot”.

Comma One is an autonomous driving aftermarket add-on. It would grant certain vehicles autopilot-like highway driving assistance abilities. Hotz had criticized his competitors for not releasing autonomous-driving features for other vehicles, so he unveiled his solution this past September and promised that the product would be available by the end of 2016.

Hotz, however, cancelled the Comma One project this past October and he received a standard letter from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA asked to provide detailed answers to fifteen questions regarding the Comma One’s design, testing practices and information regarding safety trials, intended target vehicles, and anticipated sales timeline. The NHTSA wanted to guarantee that the Comma One was safe enough to be in vehicles and complied with their regulations.

Hotz tweeted from the official account, instead of properly responding to the NHTSA, that he was cancelling the project. He argued that “dealing with regulators and lawyers… isn’t worth it.” He also hinted that he would be turning to “other products and markets”. Hotz’s cancellation tweet came from Shenzhen, China, which possibly hints that he was working on a project there.
Now anyone, including the NHTSA, can take a peek at the cancelled Comma One. Code and other details for the software and the hardware can be found on Github. The code currently only supports the Acura ILX 2016 with AcuraWatch Plus and the Honda Civic 2016 Touring Edition. The company remarked, “It's about on par with Tesla Autopilot at launch, and better than all other manufacturers. The openpilot codebase has been written to be concise and enable rapid prototyping. We look forward to your contributions—improving real vehicle automation has never been easier.”