Posted by cageymaru 9:54 AM (CST)
Monday March 06, 2017
A college student was able to successfully add a self driving mode to his 2016 Honda Civic for about $700. Using plans that he discovered online from Comm.ai, Brevan Jorgenson was able to purchase the parts, assemble, and install them into his Civic. A device that takes the place of his rear-view mirror reads the road markings and identifies other vehicles on the road using a camera. It uses this data to drive the car by controlling the brakes, accelerator and steering.
So why didn't the owner of Comm.ai sell the device? Seems that the NHTSA started asking him questions about how it worked. This prompted him to release the plans and software onto the internet for free. It currently has the functionality of the first Tesla Autopilot program and others are using his designs to create self driving systems for cars. Neodriven has a $1,500 kit that can retrofit a car to make it self driving based off the Comm.ai software. Even schools like Udacity are offering courses using the technology.
Ariel Nأ؛أ±ez, a software developer in Barranquilla, Colombia, hopes the work of hobbyists like himself will show how existing cars could be made significantly saferآ—an alternative vision to that chased by giant companies focused on ending the need for human drivers. He’s using code from Comma and Udacity to try to get his Ford Fusion to automatically slow down when it sees traffic signs, speed bumps, or potholes (he hasn’t tested it on the road but has got the accelerator and steering control working, and had a near miss with a tree). "I am less interested in full autonomy and more in preventing rear-endings," he says. "A lot of existing cars can be retrofitted."