Make Your Car Autonomous For Under $1K

With Comma.Ai OpenPilot

8/29/18

Brandon S.

Photo: Comma.ai

   The future has come! Self driving cars some fear it, some cant wait but its technology thats been around for a few years with Tesla launching AutoPilot in 2014, and GM launching Super Cruise this year, these are the only 2 options commercially available from the factory that give full level 2 autonomy and that claim stretching it for Super Cruise. Until the launch of the Tesla Model 3 this technology has been reserved for the very wealthy. Now the lowest cost car you can get (if you can get your hands on one) you can get a Model 3 with AutoPilot for around $40,000; and that is still out of reach for most people. Mercedes, BMW, and Audi are also working on such systems but again those companies are for the well to do. Other companies like ford have talked about it but most likely are not going to do anything in the near future.
   This is one of many areas where George Hotz the founder of Comma.ai wants to take by storm; pushing manufactures to add his technology to their cars because all the work will be done. This way they wont have to worry so much on one of their biggest concerns, having to support the car for its entire lifespan for free. This method can help them implement autonomy.

Photo: Comma.ai

OpenPilot:

 

Comma.ai's main baby is OpenPilot the autonomous open source software that works on the Comma EON alongside the Comma Panda and a Giraffe to interface into your cars existing drive by wire system to drive itself. Most cars at least within 5 years of age are computer controlled. The pedals are mere sensors, the steering wheel is the only thing that remains that you physically could control, but still is mostly guided by a computer. These systems are controlled by the vehicles computers or ECUs through the Controller Area Network or CAN bus, and this is what panda and giraffe tap into and initiate its own commands. OpenPilot only currently supports a few newer cars out of the box like Honda, Toyota, GM and Acura; Some cars are community supported like Tesla. There are many great people in the Comma community working on adding support for Subaru, Hyundai, Ford and more! See Supported Cars bellow to see the status of your vehicle! Join the Comma.ai Discord community 

EON

Photo: Comma.ai

 

The EON is the brains of the operation, It is sold as a smart dashacam that works with a Panda to log vehicle data with front video; running a custom Android version Neos with Chffr+ installed. Its a smartphone in case with a heatsink, fan and special board to be able to talk to a Panda, and thats it! It mounts on the windshield with a sticky mount. Coincidentally it can also run OpenPilot instead of Chffr+ where it then acts as the brains to be able to control the car with the help of a PandaGiraffe. Yes a smartphone is all you need (and some interface hardware) to have a self driving vehicle. While companies like Google are spending tens of thousands of dollars in technology Hotz has a product for under $1000 that will be more aimed at the general market. "Google is going to loose, because there is no market for an $100,000 system... ... and then they'll have a whole thing to go through to deal with how do we get this in the hands of people" Hotz said in an Interview with ReasonTV.

Panda:

   Comma.ai also sells a device called a Panda, it plugs into your cars OBDII port (typically somewhere under the driver side dash) and can read your cars CAN messages. White Panda can be paired with Chffr (Comma's dashcam app available on Android or iOS or Chffr Plus on the EON. Gray Panda only works with Chffr Plus. White and gray are the same gray just does not have wifi connectivity and instead has high precision GPS and must be connected to EON via USB

   Panda is also the main interface for OpenPilot to communicate to your car but connects to Giraffe instead of your OBDII Port. It does more then provides an interface for OpenPilot it also handles safety relevant code, for example if OpenPilot issues a hard turn command Panda will not send it to the car

71hz-TJs-vL._SX425_.jpg

Comma.AI White Panda $99

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Comma.AI Gray Panda $199

 

Photo: Comma.ai

Photo: Comma.ai

Giraffe

Photo: Comma.ai

Photo: Comma.ai

Giraffes come in many sizes and shapes, they are used as a plug and play system so Panda can talk to the car. Ever see a panda ride a giraffe? Giraffes are unique to a vehicle. Comma only officially sells Giraffes for select Hondas and Toyotas please see Where To Get A Panda to find your compatible vehicle, For those not officially sold by Comma there are great people in the community who sell da goods, they will be linked too. I happen to sell the Subaru Eyesight Giraffe. It's simple to install simply remove your factory ADAS (Advanced driver-assistance system) cover typically behind the rear view mirror, unplug the connector, plug it into the Giraffe, plug your Panda into the Giraffe, and plug it back into the factory camera *installation may very based on model* And thats basically it!

 
 

Supported Cars

Last Updated 9/5/18

 Community Supported Cars

OpenPilot is open source so don't fret if you don't see your car! There are many great people in the community working diligently! It's hard to keep up with community maintained cars, the best way to check is to check on the OpenPilot Community webpage or check with the Comma.AI Discord community HERE and join your respective #Channel; don't forget to say Hi in #General and tell them @clayson sent you; I am an active member!

Certain Teslas are maintained by their community as an example. Still bad news though? Hopefully, there are people working on getting your car supported, if not you can make your car supported! 

In Progress Cars (Offical)

  • All TSS-P Toyota with Steering Assist.

    • 'Full Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control' is required to enable stop-and-go. Only the Prius, Camry and C-HR have this option.

    • Even though the Tundra, Sequoia and the Land Cruiser have TSS-P, they don't have Steering Assist and are not supported.

  • All LSS-P Lexus with Steering Assist or Lane Keep Assist.

    • 'All-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control' is required to enable stop-and-go. Only the GS, GSH, F, RX, RXH, LX, NX, NXH, LC, LCH, LS, LSH have this option.

    • Even though the LX have TSS-P, it does not have Steering Assist and is not supported.

  • All Hyundai with SmartSense.

  • All Kia with ACC and LKAS.

Well How do I get Started!

No matter if your car is supported or not you have to join the Comma.Ai Discord group and don't forget to say hi to me @Clayson! It is the best way to talk to me if you have questions or need any support! 

You will need 3 things to get up and running (assuming your car is supported or in the process)

 

First and foremost get a Panda, White will do the trick but if you want the most out of the system and be ready for the future Gray is recommended. (Not usually needed for NEOS Dev Kits)  You can buy either from

Buy Panda - shop.comma.ai

Second get yourself an EON Dashcam DevKit the best way it to buy it from Comma themselves. EON (NEO) is open source too so you can build your own if you want, but also is not recommended as support may be limited  

 Buy Eon shop.comma.ai

Make A NEO

Lastly, you will need a compatible adapter or Giraffe. Comma sells the Giraffe for select Honda & Toyota vehicles. To get details on any other car contact your respective group in Slack, or if you have a Subaru you're in luck I'm the main supplier of the Subaru Giraffe! 

Buy Honda/Toyota Giraffe

Ask In Discord

Buy a Subaru Giraffe 

 
 

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