The San Francisco-based Comma.ai is reportedly launching an universal car interface called Panda.The self-driving car start-up was founded by Geor
The San Francisco-based Comma.ai is reportedly launching an universal car interface called Panda.
The self-driving car start-up was founded by George Hotz, renowned iPhone hacker and enterpreneur.
Panda is the first bit of hardware that is to be sold since the company cancelled their self-driving car kit, the Comma One last year, as Tech Crunch (techcrunch.com) wrote in a report.
Hotz cancelled the project following a warning letter from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandating regulatory compliance. Hotz decided to open-source his plans instead of fighting the regulators, as the online media explained.
Panda is a piece of equipment that can be ported to cars with the aim of gathering data. Equipment like Panda is used by most mechanics as they can provide detailed data.
Still, why is that necessary?
“Just to have it. Think of it like a Fitbit but for your car. People like seeing data from their bodies and I want to give them that same access but for their car.”, as Hotz told Tech Crunch.
“We’re trying to solve a really hard problem and basically there are only three real competitors: Waymo, Tesla and us. We’re all coming at it from a different angle. I can get a lot of smart people working on it for me if I open everything up like this.”, as he added.
In the meantime, Hotz is focused on building out a kit for self-driving capabalities in every car.
“It’s not about the hardware.”, as Hotz told Tech Crunch.
“I don’t want to be in the hardware business. It’s about owning the software.”, as he said.
Hotz has also demoed an app called Chffr (pronounced “shiffer”) that can record driving data. In addition, the company tested a software called Cabana that interprets the data. The whole package can record from all the sensors in your car. This may be used to train a superhuman self-driving model, as Hotz explained.