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Autonomous Car Kit Maker Cancels Product Under NHTSA Scrutiny

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Comma One System


A while ago, a man named George Hotz became famous for being the first to be able to hack into an iPhone, then moving on to breaking into a PlayStation3 before finally deciding that he wanted to turn regular cars into semi-autonomous cars with his “comma one,” a $1,000 kit that would be attached to certain Hondas to allow them to work in a partly-autonomous mode.

Well, that is no longer happening. The NHTSA sent Hotz a letter that is pretty well summed up by two of the bold lines on the first page: “We are concerned that your product would put the safety of your customers and other road users at risk. We strongly encourage you to delay selling or deploying your product on the public roadways unless and until you can ensure it is safe.

Quick, Before Someone Gets Hurt: Do you know why you need to change your oil?

From there, it goes on to refute Hotz’s defense that his product “does not remove any of the driver’s responsibilities from the task of driving,” basically saying that just as people aren’t paying attention while their Teslas are on Autopilot, people with an autonomous-driving kit attached to their car are going to lean completely on the device, which is unable to guarantee safety of that level. So, the NHTSA asked for a number of pieces of information, such as how the device is installed, how the device works, how a driver would operate it, and the conditions under which the system could be used safely.

Instead of that, though, Hotz basically just blew a raspberry and said “forget that,” because shortly after he declared that the comma one was cancelled, saying that he “Would much rather spend [his] life building amazing tech than dealing with regulators and lawyers.”

So, there’s one aftermarket autonomous car kit that won’t make it to market. I suppose we will have to get patient and wait a little longer.

But Here’s the Good News: Hyundai has announced they will soon be releasing a 250-mile EV

News Source: Business Insider