Economy, Sci & Tech

Self-Driving Software Now Free to Download

Certain car owners can now download self-driving software for free.Certain car owners can now download self-driving software for free.

A plug-in self-driving software company is giving away its retrofit software for free.

George Hotz, the inventor of the windshield-mounted driver assistance device, has made the software and the hardware available for free as open source code, Reuters reported.

According to Digital Trend,’s original plan was to sell the in-car device for $1,000.

After the US’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wanted proof the device was safe and the California road authorities sent a cease-and-desist letter, Hotz pulled it from the market.

At the time, Hotz said he was exploring other products and mentioned he was then in China.

Now the software and instructions for building the hardware are available for download on Github.

According to the accompanying statement, “Currently it performs the functions of Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist System for Hondas and Acuras. It’s about on par with Tesla Autopilot at launch and better than all other manufacturers.”

Specifically, the setup is supposed to support the 2016 Acura ILX with AcuraWatch Plus and 2016 Honda Civic Touring Edition, again according to the company owner.

Before you jump to do the download, remember that Hotz cautions the software is “alpha quality”, which means it’s still an early version that likely needs fixes and more work.

Alpha, in this reference, does not mean top dog, but the first working release, usually preceding a later beta version that still has bugs but is ready for feedback. Plus, you still have to build the device.

Reuters mentioned that when two of its reporters rode along with Hotz on a test drive in September, at one point the device sensors stopped tracking other vehicles and the car had to be stopped, and both the car and the devices had to be restarted.

Freeway on-ramp steering was also beyond the then-current device’s mastery and Hotz had to take over.

If one were to use the car with one of the 2016 Honda Civics in the Iranian market, then you might be able to plug the software into the car’s brain. However, beware, there is currently no government regulations in the Iranian market to handle such a situation.

Insurance wise, however, Iran’s car policies are already technically geared up for self-driving, as cars are the part that is insured and not the driver.

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