You might know George Hotz and his set of cool iPhone hacks. The 26-year old was he first person back in 2007 to unlock and iPhone and has subsequently done white hacking on PlayStation and worked with Space X and Google. Now he claims to have come up with his very own self-driving car that can learn to drive like a human being. The San Francisco-based hacker claims that the technology will cost just a few thousand dollars, and it can be integrated into any car in the world.
Although he still has an interest in hacking, Hotz found a new love when he got enrolled at the Carnegie Mellon University and started studying Artifical Intelligence. He immediately believed self-driven car were the future of vehicles and started developing his own technology on an Acura ILX test platform. He fitted a 21.5-inch screen along the dashboard with a minicomputer running on a Linux-based system, a set of GPS sensors and cameras to help monitor the surroundings. All of this is standard driverless configuration, but the main difference between it and the other systems developed by car manufacturers, Google, etc. is that it doesn’t operate on conditional programming. It means that instead of using if this happens do this, if this isn’t happening do that type programming used by other systems. The computer actually understands how humans drive and then slowly learns its way into becoming a driver.
Hotz claims that there has been no programming done on the system to teach the car how to drive. He showed the system a ten-hour footage of how a human drove a car instead. He showed the way humans drive and try to take intuitive learning from it. All of this spells something to be something out-of-the-box and cool and everything, but when one studies the nature of his dealings with Tesla and Elon Musk, one wonders whether it is a classic potboiler. Elon Musk had shown deep interest in Hotz’s system and asked him to work at Tesla and even offered a hefty bonus if he could render Tesla’s Mobileeye system obsolete with his own. Hotz’s reply was interesting as he said he wasn’t looking for a job and that he believes that he can sell his system directly to customers. So, either he has nothing concrete or he actually believes he can do it on his own!
We are inclined to think on the lines of the former because soon afterwards, Elon Musk and Tesla came out and explained in a blog how one person or a small company could hardly achieve the kind of technical expertise and progress to make a system like this. It may just work as a model on a definite stretch of road with little or no traffic, but to make an actual working product, they would need considerable industrial exposure and technical know-how. Hotz was unfazed by this and aims to launch his driverless system for the masses anyway. He is calling it Ghost riding for the masses.