Say this about George Hotz — he speaks about his technology with unrelenting conviction.
Last December, the iPhone jailbreaker pioneer was profiled by Bloomberg Business for building a self-driving Acura ILX with the goal to sell his $1,000 package of autonomous technology — consisting of cameras and software.
Four months later, Hotz isn't budging. Speaking to Bloomberg on Monday, Hotz once again vowed to sell his autonomous technology package for under $1,000, this time adding that he'll have it out to the public by the end of this year.
"I'm not going to say exactly how we're going to [deliver this tech to the masses], but I do promise, by the end of the year, for under $1,000, you will be able to buy a self-driving car," Hotz told the news outlet Monday.
When asked about his possible distribution plans for the technology, Hotz was equally as vague or bluntly clear — depending on how you see it.
"I'm not a business person. I build technology," he said. "I'm going to build this and I'm going to ship it to people."
The 26-year-old said his biggest challenge lies in keeping the self-driving technology as one that can be user-installable.
"How do you make it so that the user can stick the camera up on the windshield without precise calibration?" Hotz added.
During his sitdown with Bloomberg in December, Hotz showed that his self-driving technology is comprised of a sophisticated software program and six $13 cameras from Amazon. He's so confident in his technology that he has built his own company, Comma.ai, behind it, revealing to Bloomberg that the business currently counts four people.
Those in autonomous development not taking Hotz seriously might want to reconsider. After all, he claims Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked him to build a vision system for his company's self-driving car, but the deal fell through, so he decided to build his own — thus the founding of Comma.ai.
He even told Bloomberg back in December that Musk had offered him a multimillion dollar bonus, but he responded that he'll ping the Tesla CEO when he crushes Mobileye, the company that supplies driver-assist technologies to Tesla and other automakers.
Although Hotz initially gained notoriety for being the first reported person to jailbreak an iPhone and break into a PlayStation, he doesn't care for the title of "hacker."
"I don't refer to myself as a hacker," he told Bloomberg. "I'm somebody with a set of skills — these skills include programming and reverse engineering."
Let's see if those skills can live up to his vow by delivering an under-$1,000 user-installable technology package for self-driving cars.