Short Bytes: George Hotz is the first ever iPhone hacker and these days he’s busy making his own self-driving car. After turning down a job offer from Tesla, he wishes to sell his system to the car makers or as a kit to the consumers. He aims to beat Mobileye, a driving assistance systems supplier that plays an important role in Tesla’s Autopilot system.
His new hobby pertains to taking on Google, Tesla, and Apple – all by himself. He spends his days perfecting his autonomous car based on an Acura ILX sedan. He started to work on his project in his garage this October, and the car actually works.
This prodigy took a 2015 Acura ILX with AcuraWatch Plus package and added some cameras and a laser-based radar (LIDAR). Talking about his system, he calls it substantially different from those in the market as his system doesn’t follow the programmed driving rules. Instead, his car learns using intelligent deep learning and by watching the iPhone hacker drive.
Normally, the preinstalled Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) in Acura warns the driver if it doesn’t detect steering input and disables it to force a restart. In Hotz’s system, a computer coupled with GPS sensors and cables is used to sneak into car’s internal bus to take control. This computer runs Linux and car’s glovebox is replaced by its 21.5-inch LCD.
To engage the self-driving system, there’s a gaming joystick installed in the center console of ILX. Just with a single pull, the self-driving system of Acura ILX sedan engages.
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In the past, Hotz has turned down many fancy job offers and is currently working on to take down Mobileye, a driving assistance systems supplier that plays an important role in Tesla’s Autopilot system. Notably, Mr. Elon Musk himself offered him a job at Tesla and emailed him, but Hotz declined due to Musk’s uncertain deal terms.
If you look inside his autonomous car, it looks like a mess of wires and sensors with a joystick and an LCD screen in the middle. Even though there are no immediate plans of commercializing his work, he wishes to sell this system in future to the car makers or as a kit to the consumers for about $1,000.
Check out the full story of the electronics hacker on Bloomberg and watch the video below:
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