George Hotz’s $1,000 kit will transform your car into a self-driving one

By , Jun 7, 2016

George Hotz self driving car image 001

George Hotz aka “GeoHot” is one of the pioneers of the early jailbreak scene. In December 2015, Bloomberg Businessweek ran a lengthy profile focused on Hotz’s new project: a self-driving car kit. He’s since secured funding for the project, Forbes reported, and now the kit that promises to transform your car into a self-driving vehicle for just $1,000 seems to be becoming a reality, as The Verge reports.

DIY self-driving kit

Hotz’s startup,, took a 2016 Acura ILX and modified it to become a self-driving vehicle using mostly off-the-shelf parts. Despite turning down a lucrative offer from Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, Hotz is adamant that neither Tesla nor any other automobile maker is an enemy.

“What I started to realize over the last couple of months is that Tesla’s not our competition—our competition is almost nonexistent,” he said. “Tesla’s never going to sell aftermarket self-driving systems for Honda Civics. That’s what we’re doing.”

The final product will be the size of a breadbox and linked to a GPS unit.

Installing his $1,000 kit will be a cinch, he said, though he hasn’t yet settled on the product’s final specifications. As a rule of thumb, he said, “if your car has electronic stability control and electronic power steering, there’s a chance we could make it work.”

Self-learning system

Unlike most other self-driving systems, Hotz’s is a self-learning one.

After learning about a driver’s habits, a built-in computer and artificial intelligence software instruct the car to emulate them. This way, the system knows what to do and what not to do.

By the end of 2018, hopes to have gathered an astounding one billion miles of information, with a little help from a dedicated app.

Called Chffr (pronounced: “chauffeur”), it tracks your driving habits and feeds them back into their database. The more miles you log, the more “Comma points” you earn with “great things coming to the people at the top of the Comma point leaderboard”.

He’s confident about shipping the kit by the end of the year.

Source: The Verge

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Joaquim N.

    I hope to see anything like that working flawless before I die.

    • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

      It’s geohot. It’s flawless.

  • Oscar

    Is the dedicated app available now? I can’t find it

  • Burge

    Only one downside would be if an accident was to happen while are using this system I’m pretty sure most insurance companies will what you to be in full control of the vehicle and with this being a add-on would your insurance company cover you ? It’s not a proven system ( yet ) and I’m sure if any accident did happen and the moment you said that this was in control of your vehicle at the time you might find it very hard to prove that it wasn’t the fault of the system. And then who’s at fault you for allowing this to control your car or the person who built the system ?

    • Rob

      Yes you aren’t supposed to goto sleep while the car is driving lol. So you the “driver” will always be at fault

      • Burge

        Who said anything about going to sleep. ? That in its self would suicidal.

  • BlackSheep_dsg

    do people even want self driving vehicles, I know I don’t

    • they do.

      • BlackSheep_dsg

        they shouldn’t

      • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

        Why not? AI can drive vehicles safer and more efficiently, since they aren’t affected by any bodily processes (like emotions for example).

      • BlackSheep_dsg

        Ai doesn’t drive it follows instructions based on what the developer programmed it to be able to do, it’s not safer as it’s still has human err to deal with and should always be able to be overridden, because of unseen circumstances that the programmer could not foresee

        also, to err is human to really louse things up; it take a computer

      • Rons33

        No, you described a non-intelligent Computer Code, where everything has to be programmed in. The AI that Google Deepmind/Tesla’s Elon Musk etc. are talking about is Artificial “Intelligence” as compared to pre-programmed code. The algorithm learns to make choices, the same way humans do, and edits its own code. So an AI (when it comes out) accomplishes tasks that the programmers of it have not even coded in or thought of adding. The AI can write new codes itself.

        With the same general AI code, Google Deepmind was able to train computer to transcribe human voice, which it did better than human level (less errors than human converting what he heard into text). This was not possible with “dumb” code, but things like this, Self driving cars of the future, computers that can do art and abstract music, etc. become open with this new trend of AI, that I believe started with Alexnet in University of Toronto in 2012.

        Obviously this is the next step for GeoHot to start implementing this in the future, something that Nvidia partners including Toyota, BMW, and Tesla separately are in the Process of.

      • BlackSheep_dsg

        still programmed by a human, it will still have flaws. Thats not a world I want to live in either, ever see terminator; lol

      • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

        Programmed by humans, yes. Programmed by humans to make the same errors humans do, no. A driving AI will likely have all the basic road knowledge and know all laws and regulations related to driving. Basically, it will start from clean theoretical information, most likely combined with driving information from early test drives, like the ones in the video in the article.

        In short, an AI will not be flawless, but it will be much better at driving than humans are.

      • BlackSheep_dsg

        I disagree, it’s still using fixed laws; we live in a world with random occurrences, it won’t be able to react faster than any human could in a situation it doesn’t exspect

        [quote]In short, an AI will not be flawless, but it will be much better at driving than humans are.[/quote]

        thats way to speculative

      • MoNkEyCanCeR

        You assume too much. Your black & white, either/or thinking cripples you.

      • BlackSheep_dsg

        yeah, because this is so life important

      • MoNkEyCanCeR

        Add contradicting statements to that list also.

      • BlackSheep_dsg

        i was talking about the actual conversation not what the conversation was about

      • Mark S

        That’s right AI doesn’t have to look down at its damn phone all the time to update its FB status.

      • BlackSheep_dsg

        true, but it could still kill somebody

    • Jayy

      I would love a self driving vehicle!

      • Rowan09

        Why? The only reason why I would want one is to sleep on long trips, but I wouldn’t trust any computer to take me from NY to Georgia while sleeping. There are just too many obstacles on the ground, between potholes, people, animals, vegetation, weather conditions, etc. Mass production of this $1000 kit might never happen anytime soon because I’m sure insurance companies will raise your premium so high if they find out. With airplanes you have less traffic and it’s in a controlled area with radar, etc, plus the conditions in the air are pretty predictable, so is the ocean and railways. While I find this to be interesting, I don’t believe it’s going to be allowed for commercial usage anytime soon because of the liability. What happens if some crashed their vehicle and it’s totaled and even though it wasn’t in auto-driving mode they sue George’s company? This is America and once you get rich people will constantly look for a reason to sue and this is just too easy to win those cases.

      • Jayy

        I personally wouldn’t want this particular kit, but if it were a car that was built around the technology like a Tesla car then yeah I’m all in! People like convenience and a self driving car is the definition of convenience.

      • BlackSheep_dsg


      • Jayy

        Why not?

      • BlackSheep_dsg

        it takes away your decision making, it takes away the joy of driving.

        hacker hacks the self drive system drives you off a cliff, or takes you somewhere you don’t want to go

        the thing fucks up and kill somebody who’s to blame, the book will get passed around. At the moment drivers are the ones held responsible which is fair

      • Jayy

        I mean I wouldn’t have it on auto pilot or whatever it’s called for self driving cars all the time, or driving through the city. Though on the highway in times when I’d like to shoot off a few text, or look for a song that’s been stuck in my mind on Spotify. Or if there is heavy traffic also on the highway. For me in would mainly be a highway thing!

        I personally wouldn’t even have hackers on my mind, who am I where someone would try and hack my car to bring me to a different location or whatever strange reasons people would try and hack cars.

        Also unless I’m talking a nap in traffic I’d still have my full attention on the road so I wouldn’t be driving off cliff’s.

    • Lit

      Would be great for the elderly.

      • Rowan09


      • Lit

        I worked for a geriatric clinic before and let’s just say, some of them should definitely NOT drive.

      • Rowan09

        Lol, but I don’t think most would understand the tech.

      • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

        No need for them to understand how it works. Just teach them how to input a destination and start the software, and the car will do the rest.

      • Rowan09

        They don’t need to understand how it work, but inputting information correctly will require training and it would be easier to either just drive or be driven.

    • Innes

      I don’t

  • Jackson Grong

    I might be wrong but as far is I know 90% of cars don’t have electronic power steering.

    • you’re wrong.

      • Jackson Grong

        No, I’m not, all older models don’t have it.

      • no one expects that from older models. you don’t expect an iPhone 3 to run ios 9.

      • Rowan09

        Really how many cars have electronic power steering? All cars I know may have some electronic assisted power steering, but it’s all a rack and pinion setup with control arms, struts, tie rods and axles for steering.

  • Bill

    “After learning about a driver’s habits, a built-in computer and artificial intelligence software instruct the car to emulate them.”

    That’s just great. So a car will potentially drive like a maniac all on its own because that’s what it learned from its horrible owner. OUTSTANDING.

    • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

      It will emulate some of the drivers habits, not all. The software already knows how to drive correctly, it will simply modify itself a bit.

  • lookHOWMADheis


  • this is awesome, i am so looking forward to this

  • pnh

    I keep checking the date of this article. I’m convinced it should be April 1st.

  • iDude

    could you see that lag on detecting nearby vehicles. i bet this only operates on normal traffic condition and would probably disengage at 60mph.

  • Johnson Noel

    George is only 26?

  • mrgerbik

    first step to saying bye-bye to human beings


    The George Hotz’s self driving car kits do have 4G or even 5G connectivity to sync self driving data to its cloud data-base to constantly share these data to all car kits to continuously and constantly improve safety and reliability of its AI self improving system and also on the road car to car, kit to kit handshake awareness and data sharing exchange is paramount to the safety & reliability presence of the accident avoidance self driving car kits system and soon the AI self improving self driving system could be extended to trucking safety and to self drive huge trucks, buses and trailers on a separate safety and reliability systems for self driving truck kits to aid the trucking industry.