Summary of George Hotz:, OpenPilot, and Autonomous Vehicles | Lex Fridman Podcast #31

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00:00:00 - 01:00:00

George Hotz discusses the work he's doing with on autonomous vehicles, sharing that the company is working on a new feature that will allow drivers to turn off their headlights. He also discusses the challenges of debugging large software systems and the benefits of hacking.

  • 00:00:00 George Hotz discusses the possibility that we are living in a simulation, and how thinking about this could inspire breakthrough ideas in the field of AI and technology.
  • 00:05:00 George Hotz discusses how he became interested in hacking and how his journey has led to years of practice and expertise in the field. He cautions that it is not enough to simply receive feedback from respected individuals; one must want to improve and work hard to achieve excellence.
  • 00:10:00 George Hotz discusses how to debug large software systems and the challenges of doing so. He also discusses the history of competitive programming and how it has evolved. He argues that the benefits of hacking outweigh the risks, and that criminals are not worth the money.
  • 00:15:00 Project Zero is a Google initiative to find and fix vulnerabilities in systems before they are exploited. George Hotz, a programmer, participated in Project Zero for five months. He learned about design patterns, security vulnerabilities, and how to write code for speed competitions.
  • 00:20:00 George Hotz discusses the pros and cons of his programming style, which is fast and chaotic. He recommends that others learn new programming tools and techniques by methodically working through a tutorial or example.
  • 00:25:00 George Hotz discusses his experience founding and OpenPilot, his thoughts on self-driving cars, and his experience with Elon Musk. He notes that his goal was to build a self-driving car that could keep up with a human driver and that he was confident he could do it within 12 months. However, the contract fell through because he underestimated the difficulty of the project.
  • 00:30:00 George Hotz discusses autonomous vehicles and the progress he's made with, OpenPilot, and Autonomous Vehicle 2.0. He says that while Autopilot is "terrible" when it comes to lanekeeping, it is a valuable feature due to the stress it removes from drivers.
  • 00:35:00 George Hotz discusses, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles, sharing that OpenPilot is currently 0.6 and is set to reach 1.0 in 2020. He explains that's hardware includes a Snapdragon 820, forward-facing camera, and transceiver, with support for 45 different makes of cars. He also shares that the company will be adding a new feature in 2020 that will allow drivers to turn off their headlights.
  • 00:40:00 In this video, George Hotz discusses, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles with Lex Fridman. He remarks that Tesla is doing more than just incrementally testing autonomous features; they're putting real users behind the wheel to gather data. He also points out that there are differentiating factors between automaker's approaches to autonomous driving, and that open pilot is not 1.0 until driver monitoring is 100% effective.
  • 00:45:00 George Hotz discusses, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles with Lex Fridman. He discusses the deprecation of the Philips car and how driver monitoring could help mitigate accidents. He also discusses the current limitations of Open Pilot and how they are working to address the issues.
  • 00:50:00 George Hotz discusses his work on, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles, and how computer vision and artificial intelligence are important parts of the stack. He describes a simulator that allows for testing of systems without having to use real-world data.
  • 00:55:00 George Hotz discusses, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles with Lex Fridman. He explains that while perception and planning are essential for autonomous vehicle success, they are currently missing from most simulators. He argues that the best way to achieve autonomous driving is to learn the entirety of the perceptual system, including driving.

01:00:00 - 01:55:00

George Hotz is the CEO of, a company that is working on autonomous vehicles. In this interview, he discusses the challenges of autonomous vehicles, the work his team is doing on lane changes, and his thoughts on the future of the industry. He is optimistic about the future of autonomous vehicles, and believes that his company has a three- to five-year lead on its competitors.

  • 01:00:00 George Hotz discusses the challenges of autonomous vehicles and how he thinks his company,, can help solve them. He also describes the work his team is doing on lane changes, which he believes will be one of the more difficult aspects of autonomous driving to learn and implement correctly.
  • 01:05:00 George Hotz discusses's work on lane changes and autonomous vehicles, and Lex Fridman asks whether success for will involve a level of autonomy similar to what is seen in self-driving cars in the "fun farms" setting.
  • 01:10:00 George Hotz discusses the milestones and successes of his companies, and OpenPilot, and how they are working on autonomous vehicles. He also mentions the difficulty of communicating with car companies, and suggests selling data as a way to make money.
  • 01:15:00 George Hotz discusses, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles with Lex Fridman. He talks about why he believes the company is inspirational, his thoughts on other autonomous vehicle companies, and how insurance could be a potential business model for
  • 01:20:00 George Hotz discusses, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles with Lex Fridman. He argues that has a three- to five-year lead on its competitors in terms of technology, but that it has spent too much money in the past three years to recuperate its losses. He also argues that self-driving cars have no network effect, and that the market for them is unstable and will eventually be flooded with cheap scooters.
  • 01:25:00 George Hotz discusses his views on autonomous vehicles and how they differ from those held by Tesla. He also discusses how companies such as and OpenPilot are trying to solve the static driving problem. He ultimately believes that there is still room for breakthrough innovation in autonomous vehicles, although he is unsure how this will happen.
  • 01:30:00 George Hotz discusses his work on, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles. He explains that while the second project (dynamic mapping) is important, the third (counterfactual) is the most important because it involves understanding how humans interact with dynamic objects. He notes that safety is a priority for him and that he is currently working on a more clear and transparent messaging strategy for Tesla.
  • 01:35:00 George Hotz, the founder and CEO of, discusses the company's safety model, research, and business strategy. He also discusses his aversion to fame and how he has come to accept that he does not want attention from the masses.
  • 01:40:00 George Hotz discusses, OpenPilot, and autonomous vehicles with Lex Fridman. He says he respects engineers with real skills in cars, but he is also open to the idea that he might be wrong. He talks about his respect for Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson, and others and how he thinks about how to convert human brain behavior into machine learning problems.
  • 01:45:00 George Hotz discusses some ethical questions surrounding autonomous vehicles and the trolley problem. He says that the problem deserves to be trolled, and that hacking a vehicle is not difficult. He also says that taking breaks and relaxing is important for achieving great things.
  • 01:50:00 George Hotz discusses his work on AI girlfriends, autonomous vehicles, and singularity predictions. He emphasizes that the merging of humans and machines will be a deep emotional relationship, and that it will not be just a channel between two brains.
  • 01:55:00 George Hotz discusses his thoughts on the meaning of life and what he believes it will be like in the future. He believes that if life wins, it will be because of our intelligence and ability to build compressive models of the world. He is optimistic about the future, and believes that by 2038, he will have a clear understanding of what the game is and be able to win it.

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