The already famed iPhone hacker George Hotz (also known as Geohot) was getting involved in the autonomous vehicle space. He is one of those has a knack for showmanship and the 26-year old jailbreaker has decked out his basement officie with everything he needs to make an unique impression. Has now after stepping way from jailbreaking iPhones and finding exploitable vulnerabilities in Sony’s PlayStation 3, and taking numerous other jobs and interships at big companies, set up a new company called Comma. Hotz with an intention to poineer articifical intelligent robocar (self-driving vehicles). Calassified with the likes of Google and Tesla, how would Gehot go up against them attempting to build an intelligent autonomous car, but new reports are suggesting that Hotz has secured invester funding for his new notion.
On a whiteboard next to Hotz’s hacked-together self-driving Acura ILX is a note that reads; “Build an autonomous car,” “Sort Mobileye“, and “Profit!“. Often the case in The Silicon Valley, successful starups are founded off the back of a crazy idea that no-one could ever think would become a reality. Comma, an insane startup by Hotz was put in place afterthe former iPhone hacker placed a bet with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk that he could build a better robotic-car system than the one that Tesla had in place at the time through the services it pays for from Mobileye. That emplyment deal went hand-in-hand with it – quickly fell through when Musk tried to protect himself and his company with a new way for Tesla to back out of the contract.
Now, the future seems to go brightly with Hotz way and Comma. The company has put the required components in place, and has demonstrated its technology to the point that it has managed to raise seed investment from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Mobileye, the Israeli company that provides a hardware-software package for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) features in the Tesla Model S sedans. Although Hotz verbally sparred with Musk in public and pitched that can build self-driving car algorithms faster and better than any carmaker or even Google. Hotz has keen desire to build a real company around self-driving cars and, more importantly, artificial intelligence, where he also attracted plenty of attention.
With that initial seed investment not only places confidence in the Hotz self-driving car startup, but also gives essential values the company at around the $20 million mark. Hotz also managed to buld a fairly impressive team in his tent of autonomous vehicle excellence. There’s Yunus Saatchi, who has a PhD in artificial intelligence. Still got Jake Smith who has impressive pedigree in the BitCoin community, along with fellow BitCoin aficionada Elizabeth Stark.
Hotz’s ambitious plans to expand the team overe the next three months, with in place to acquire individuals with skills in machine learning and consumer hardware fields. Starting his work on what will become the Hotz company’s first product – self-driving kit that car owners will be able to purchase directly from Comma to equip their vehicles with autonomous driving capabilities. It will provide cars with ADAS features, like lane-keeping assistance and emergency breaking.
No prototype in place yet, but Hotz believes that Comma will be able to deliver something by the year end, and the goal “is to be a software-provider for car makers and auto supplier.”
“We believe our killer app is traffic,” Hotz said. “Humans are bad at traffic. We can make something that drives super-humanly smooth through traffic.”
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