Monday’s news of an employee-only autonomous service is a middle step before the automaker’s first self-driving public implementation in 2021. And President and CEO Mark Fields said such vehicles likely won’t be ready for sale directly to the public until at least the middle of next decade.
Would you pay $999 to give your car self-driving chops?
George Hotz is betting the answer is yes. The 26-year-old iPhone and PlayStation hacker turned entrepreneur is behind Comma.ai, a new Bay Area company that is powered largely by his brains and chutzpah, as well as $3 million in funding fromAndreessen Horowitz.
[Nuro.ai] wouldn’t reveal too many additional details about what exactly they’re doing, but here’s what we know:
The company’s plans involve creating a “level four,” which is geek for an entirely hands-free self-driving car.
But the car is only the first in a line of products Nuro plans to develop. We don’t know what else they’ll create, but it won’t be solely transportation-related.
That’s because Nuro’s team includes engineers with robotics, artificial intelligence and self-driving experience who had a hand in either developing or shipping an unusually wide range of products including Nexus cameras, Google Image search, the Mars Exploration and Curiosity Rovers, Google street view, Google’s self-driving cars and a number of surgical tools.
The company has raised funding, but it won’t say how much and from whom.
Nuro plans to launch its first product — a self-driving car — in two to four years.