George Hotz’s comma one project cancelled after NHTSA request

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Comma One

While the NHTSA hasn’t asked him to stop selling the product, they have said if he doesn’t delay its sale and do so by November 10, he will be subject to civil penalties of up to $21,000 per day.

For those of you who don’t know the name George Hotz, he became well-known for his iPhone jailbreaking and Sony Playstation hacking. It had been awhile since we heard much from Hotz until recently when he introduced his comma one project. Comma one was Hotz’s $1,000 answer to Google’s self-driving car as it could essentially make any car into a self-driving one. The project looked to have some merit and started to get off the ground. That is until this week when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent Hotz’s a letter requesting that he delay selling comma one and also asked for his documentation on the project. The below video shows Hotz presenting the project at Disrupt SF.

While the NHTSA hasn’t asked him to stop selling the product, they have said if he doesn’t delay its sale and do so by November 10, he will be subject to civil penalties of up to $21,000 per day. Obviously Hotz had little choice but to pull the plug or face some pretty hefty fines going forward that he likely can’t pay. You can read the whole letter to Hotz from the NHTSA in the screenshot below for a full detailed scope of what they’re asking him to do and what they’re asking him for.

comma one

The news of the shutdown of the project comes after Hotz grew the startup from just working him alone in his garage to a VC-backed company. It was revealed earlier this year that the startup secured funding from high-profile VC firm Andreessen Horowitz with a $3 million investment — potentially bringing the startup’s valuation to $20 million.

Hotz’s project caught the industry’s attention after he released an email conversation he had with Elon Musk in which Tesla’s CEO offered him a contract with a “multimillion-dollar bonus” for him to build a new Autopilot system for Tesla.

What do you think of Hotz’s pulling the plug on this project, at least for now? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

  Source: electrek
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