George Hotz emerged on the technology scene when he became the first person to hack the iPhone and to break into Sony's PlayStation — all by age 17. Now that Hotz is 26 and has bounced around numerous high-profile engineering jobs, he claims to have invented a new technology that could completely alter our transportation system.
Hotz built a prototype for a self-driving car.
In a recent video produced by Bloomberg Business, Hotz revealed the self-driving car that he created in his residential garage. It's a similar concept to Tesla's autopilot system, where the car does 99 percent of the actual driving.
"I was approached by a friend to come build this technology for Tesla," Hotz said to Bloomberg Business. "I saw what they were doing and I 'm like, 'I am confident that with the research I've seen, that I can beat that.' And then one day I was like, 'You know what? I'm going to buy a car, throw some cameras in it, throw some computers in it and we're just going to make this work."
Hotz said he purchased $40 worth of Chinese can transceivers that can read and send messages to the car's internal controls. Hotz, a computer expert, said that his lack of automobile experience was not a problem because today's "cars are computers."
After the technology was placed into the car, Hotz essentially taught the car how to drive by showing it 10 hours of human driving footage and getting the car to replicate it.
"The point is to drive naturally like a human, not like some engineer's idea of safety," Hotz told Bloomberg Business.
According to Hotz, the car uses similar sensors to those already on the Tesla. He said that by adding his software and six smartphone cameras (that cost $13 each), he could turn any car with the sensors into a self-driving automobile for about $1,000.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has since criticized Hotz and his self-driving car, calling the technology "unlikely." However, Hotz contends that he will be the "next billionaire-dollar CEO."