Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has led a $3.1 million (£2.1 million) funding round in Comma.ai, a self-driving car company founded by legendary hacker George Hotz.
Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Dixon published a blog post explaining why his fund invested in the company. He said that Hotz’s plan to add semi-autonomous driving technology to cars is “a textbook example of the ‘WhatsApp effect’ happening to AI.”
Hotz is best-known for his previous life as a hacker with a talent for breaking into devices. He cracked the original iPhone in 2007 when he was 17, and went on to break into the PlayStation 3 in 2010. His hacks allowed people to modify the devices and run their own software on them.
Bloomberg published a lengthy feature about Comma.ai in December 2015 that sheds light on what Hotz is working on. Unlike, say, Tesla or Google, Hotz is aiming to create a system that can be added to cars after they’re released and sold, not before.