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The iPhone jailbreak legend George Hotz, also known as Geohot, has ventured into the self-driving car business with the unbelievable feat of building the car in just one month. Hotz seems to have gained some sort of uncanny success with his first experiment in turning the 2016 Acura ILX Sedan into a self-driving car as Tesla Motors founder, Elon Musk, is said to be overwhelmingly impressed with his feat.
My friend George built a self-driving car in a month. Can confirm it works really well. Amazing to see it evolve. https://t.co/NhTASWdpdp
— elizabeth stark (@starkness) December 16, 2015
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Hotz has been offered a job on homegrown Autopilot software for a multimillion-dollar business deal. However, the veteran hacker has allegedly declined the offer.
"I'm a big Elon fan, but I wish he didn't jerk me around for three months," he says. "He can buy the technology for double."
So far, Hotz has been successful in adding a laser-based radar on the roof, as well as a mounted camera on the rear-view mirror of his Acura car. In addition, the car has a 21.5in (54.5cm) screen and a joystick attached on the dashboard.
Outfitted with cameras and sensors, the car runs on Linux-based software with dedicated support for neural net, a self-teaching artificial intelligence program that extracts data from the vehicle and driver to adapt to the varying driving needs. The best part of this innovative project is that it does not rely on a pre-programmed set of rules or driving conditions like other commercial brands in the market do for their self-driving systems.
Throwing some light on the future of his project, Hotz claims in the coming he will capture a video of his Acura outperforming a Tesla in a self-drive test across the Golden Gate Bridge, as it is apparently causing hassles for existing self-driving programs, due to the poor lane markings. The final test is proposed to culminate on I-405 in Los Angeles.
Hotz seems to be headed in the right direction, with his own comma.ai company contributing to driving assistance systems that power Tesla's Autopilot system. The current project basically employs a $1,000 (£670) kit consisting of six cameras and smart control software that could be fitted to any customisable car in order to make it self-driven.
Here is what Hotz had to say regarding the future of AI and its use in self-driving technology:
The truth is that work as we know it in its modern form has not been around that long, and I kind of want to use AI to abolish it. I want to take everyone's jobs. Most people would be happy with that, especially the ones who don't like their jobs.
Let's free them of mental tedium and push that to machines. In the next 10 years, you'll see a big segment of the human labour force fall away. In 25 years, AI will be able to do almost everything a human can do. The last people with jobs will be AI programmers.
If you are still sceptical, check out Hotz's self-driving car in action, in Bloomberg's official video.