George Hotz was first to hack the iPhone, but can he build a self-driving car? Tesla's Elon Musk says no.
Bloomberg ran a story yesterday about George Hotz aka Geohot, the first person to hack the iPhone. Geohot was 17 back then. He is now building a self-driving car in his garage. The now 26-year-old turned his genius to develop a DIY self-driving car based on a 2016 Acura ILX. Watch him pitch his self-driving car project comma.ai in a Bloomberg video below.
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He uses a laser-based radar (lidar) system on the roof and a camera mounted near the rearview mirror. Hotz has big plans with his AI based self-driving car solution according to the Bloomberg report. He wants to best Mobileyee technology used by Tesla Motors and sell auto-pilot functionality for $1,000.
There is no definite timeline for the DIY self-driving car project, but all the claims Hotz made in the report have now triggered a response by Tesla.
Hotz and Musk apparently met earlier and were negotiating a deal and Musk also offered him a job at Tesla with multi-million bonus in case Tesla stops using Mobileye.
Elon Musk announced the response on Twitter just minutes ago titled "Correction to article: "The First Person to Hack the iPhone Built a Self-Driving Car."
Tesla says: "The article by Ashlee Vance did not correctly represent Tesla or MobilEye. We think it is extremely unlikely that a single person or even a small company that lacks extensive engineering validation capability will be able to produce an autonomous driving system that can be deployed to production vehicles. It may work as a limited demo on a known stretch of road -- Tesla had such a system two years ago -- but then requires enormous resources to debug over millions of miles of widely differing roads."
The "Correction" continues to explain why it is hard to get a machine learning system to get absolutely accurate all the time.
Tesla Motors also points out: "Tesla’s autopilot system was designed and developed in-house. Were this simply a matter of repackaging a vendor’s technology, as claimed in the article, we would not be unique in offering this groundbreaking experience in production vehicles."
Tesla ends the statement with "Tesla Autopilot includes radar, ultrasonics, GPS/nav, cameras and real-time connectivity to Tesla servers for fleet learning. Going forward, we will continue to use the most advanced component technologies, such as MobilEye’s vision chip, in our vehicles. Their part is the best in the world at what it does and that is why we use it."
George Hotz has a gifted mind, but developing autonomous cars is a team job.
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