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Brief Published: 22 Sep 2016

Comma One: Self-Driving Add-On

Comma.ai chief executive George Hotz at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco

At this year's TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco (September 12-14), US hacker George Hotz unveiled the Comma One – an aftermarket add-on from his start-up Comma.ai that will turn regular vehicles into semi-autonomous cars.

Described as "on par with Tesla's Autopilot", the system relies on built-in car-front radars and cameras. What makes Comma One unique, reports The Verge, is that the system tracks driver habits, aggregates them, and then instructs the car to emulate them – effectively "learning" by experience, rather than prioritising a series of hard rules for the car to obey.

Available for $999 and a $24 monthly subscription fee for the software, the device is scheduled to ship before the end of the year. Currently available in limited release, it will only be compatible with Honda or Acura models with lane-keeping assist. Over time, however, the company hopes to add compatibility with more models, reports TechCrunch.

For more on the self-driving technology making autonomous vehicles the new normal, see our Radical Transport report. Take a deep dive into the latest innovative car marketing strategies in New Directions in Auto Marketing.