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This Add-on Could Make Your Car Autonomous

Drivers who want the autonomous car experience but don't have the cash to buy a new, tech-laden vehicle could be in luck, thanks to startup

The company's new $999 Comma One add-on system could send riders to and from work without having to hit the gas pedal, brakes or even touch the steering wheel. That's according to creator George Hotz, who had his system on display at this year's Tech Crunch Disrupt SF event, where budding tech companies show their wares. The catch is that the Comma One can only go between San Francisco to Mountain View, Calif., at least for now.

Photo Credit: The Ra Method/YouTube

(Image credit: Photo Credit: The Ra Method/YouTube)

The system works with the front radar already built into cars, plus video data, Hotz explained. But regardless of how it works, the Comma One is going to have to undergo some serious safety testing before it makes it to more roads or even gets the nod from government regulators.

"It is fully functional. It's about on par with Tesla Autopilot," Hotz said, according to Tech Crunch. "If they are the iOS of self-driving cars, we want to be Android," Hotz said.

He expects the Comma One to be available later this year. Users will have to pay a $24 monthly subscription fee.

Hotz, a famous teenage hacker, was the first person to ever jailbreak an iPhone, at age 17. He later hacked into a PlayStation 3 and subsequently posted the gaming console's secret root keys online. In response to the PS3 hack, Sony sued Hotz and got a court order forcing him to take down the keys.

Hotz and Sony later settled out of court, but only after the hacktivist group Anonymous launched several online attacks on the PlayStation Network and other Sony properties in the spring of 2011 in protest of the lawsuit.

Althea Chang is Associate Director of Content Development for Consumer Reports and was previously a Senior Writer for Tom's Guide, covering mobile devices, health and fitness gadgets and car tech.