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Andreessen Horowitz-Backed Self-Driving Car Startup Raises $3.1 Million

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Comma.ai may not be a name many are familiar with, even within autonomous car circles. However, the name garners attention, particularly now that it has been confirmed the company has raised just over $3 million.

This round of funding has come from Andreessen Horowitz, partner Chris Dixon shared with Re/code.

What Is Comma.ai?

(In)famous hacker George Hotz' company Comma.ai has made waves among the most knowledgeable and aware autonomous vehicle enthusiasts, as he recently built a semi-autonomous self-driving car by retrofitting an Acura.

Based on the success of his Acura experiment, Hotz has ambitions to bring his innovations out of his garage where the Acura was reinvented and to the masses, with hope of taking on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)'s Google, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and other competitors within the space.

Related Link: Autonomous Driving Could Actually Help Traditional Automakers: Here's How

"In the company's march to full autonomy, Hotz plans to use the cash infusion in his otherwise self-funded company to add a few more engineers to his staff of four full-time employees, and to take Comma to launch by the end of the year, when he hopes to begin selling an aftermarket semi-autonomous kit for under $1000," Re/code reported.

The Technology

While the kit Hotz hopes to produce en masse won't be able to turn just any car into a self-driving vehicle, he says he's hoping to appeal to the 2012+ market.

"The absolute minimum requirement is that the car has to have electronic power steering and [automatic] braking […] I'm a firm believer in disruption and working from the bottom up. So when we launch, we're going to say to automakers, ‘Look, if you want your car to be able to be fitted [with the software], you have to give us access to our API,'" Hotz shared.

Competitors In The Space

While Google and others are still big names within the space, Hotz sees Tesla as the true title to beat.

"They're the leaders in the industry," Hotz explained, "only because they're the only ones who have shipped."

"I don't think their technology is great, but they shipped," Hotz added.

Andreessen Horowitz is a seven-year-old venture capital firm valued at $4 billion.

Posted-In: Andreessen HorowitzNews Entrepreneurship Financing Travel Startups Tech General

 

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