Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

openpilot

What is openpilot?

comma openpilot is an open source driver-assistance system. Currently, openpilot performs the functions of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Automated Lane Centering (ALC) for compatible vehicles. It performs similarly to Tesla Autopilot and GM Super Cruise. openpilot can steer, accelerate, and brake automatically for other vehicles within its lane. Check it out on GitHub.

In order to enforce driver alertness, openpilot includes a camera based Driver Monitoring (DM) system that alerts the driver when distracted or asleep. However, even with an attentive driver, we must make further efforts for the system to be safe. We have designed openpilot with two other safety considerations:

  1. The driver must always be capable to immediately retake manual control of the vehicle, by stepping on either pedal or by pressing the cancel button.
  2. The vehicle must not alter its trajectory too quickly for the driver to safely react. This means that while the system is engaged, the actuators are constrained to operate within reasonable limits.
How does openpilot work?

openpilot works by taking the radar data integrated with supported car models and combining it with the camera built into comma hardware, to determine what acceleration, braking, and steering events are required.

Is my car compatible with openpilot?

An accurate list of compatible vehicles can be found here: https://github.com/commaai/openpilot.

What should I buy to run openpilot in my car?

After verifying that your car is compatible, we recommend purchasing a comma two in our shop. Don't forget to purchase a car harness to connect it to your vehicle. Add to cart, check out, and you’re good to go!

Do I have to pay attention?

Yes, the driver must always be able to immediately retake manual control of the vehicle, by stepping on either pedal or by pressing the cancel button. When openpilot is engaged, a driver monitoring system actively tracks driver awareness to help prevent distractions. The openpilot system disengages if you are distracted. Drivers must keep their eyes on the road at all times and be ready to take control of the car.

What are the limitations of openpilot Automated Lane Centering?

openpilot Automated Lane Centering (ALC) system does not automatically drive the vehicle or reduce the amount of attention that must be paid to the area in front of the vehicle. The driver must always keep control of the steering wheel and be ready to correct the ALC system action at all times.

Many factors can impact the performance of openpilot ALC, causing it to be unable to function as intended. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Poor visibility (heavy rain, snow, fog, etc.) or weather conditions are interfering with sensor operation.
  • The road facing camera is obstructed, covered or damaged by mud, ice, snow, etc.
  • Obstruction caused by applying excessive paint or adhesive products (such as wraps, stickers, rubber coating, etc.) onto the vehicle.
  • The device is mounted incorrectly.
  • When in sharp curves, like on-off ramps, intersections etc...; openpilot is designed to be limited in the amount of steering torque it can produce.
  • In the presence of restricted lanes or construction zones. 
  • When driving on highly banked roads or in presence of strong cross-wind.
  • Extremely hot or cold temperatures.
  • Bright light (due to oncoming headlights, direct sunlight, etc.)
  • Driving on hills, narrow, or winding roads.

The list above does not represent an exhaustive list of situations that may interfere with proper operation of openpilot components. It is the driver's responsibility to be in control of the vehicle at all times.

What are the limitations of openpilot Adaptive Cruise Control?

openpilot Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is not a system that allows careless or inattentive driving. It is still necessary for the driver to pay close attention to the vehicle’s surroundings and to be ready to re-take control of the gas and the brake at all times.

Many factors can impact the performance of openpilot ACC, causing it to be unable to function as intended. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Poor visibility (heavy rain, snow, fog, etc.) or weather conditions are interfering with sensor operation.
  • The road facing camera or radar are obstructed, covered, or damaged by mud, ice, snow, etc.
  • Obstruction caused by applying excessive paint or adhesive products (such as wraps, stickers, rubber coating, etc.) onto the vehicle.
  • The device is mounted incorrectly.
  • Approaching a toll booth. 
  • When driving on roads with pedestrians, cyclists, etc...
  • In presence of traffic signs or stop lights, which are not detected by openpilot at this time.
  • When the posted speed limit is below the user selected set speed. openpilot does not detect speed limits at this time.
  • In presence of vehicles in the same lane that are not moving.
  • When abrupt braking maneuvers are required. openpilot is designed to be limited in the amount of deceleration and acceleration that it can produce.
  • When surrounding vehicles perform close cut-ins from neighbor lanes.
  • Driving on hills, narrow, or winding roads.
  • Extremely hot or cold temperatures.
  • Bright light (due to oncoming headlights, direct sunlight, etc.)
  • Interference from other equipment that generates ultrasonic waves.

The list above does not represent an exhaustive list of situations that may interfere with proper operation of openpilot components. It is the driver's responsibility to be in control of the vehicle at all times.

Do I retain my car factory safety features with openpilot installed?

When openpilot is enabled in settings, Lane Keep Assist (LKAS), and Automated Lane Centering (ALC) are replaced by openpilot lateral control and only function when openpilot is engaged. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) works whether engaged or disengaged.

 

On certain cars, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is replaced by openpilot longitudinal control.


openpilot preserves any other vehicle safety features, including, but are not limited to: AEB, auto high-beam, blind spot warning, and side collision warning.

Does openpilot support manual transmission cars (obviously, with the driver shifting)?

openpilot does not currently support manual transmission cars. If you’d like to learn more, join us on Discord, where some of our members are supporting manual cars.

How does openpilot automatically recognize the car model it is connected to?

If your car is on the list of supported cars, openpilot will automatically recognize the model of your car by performing a scan of relevant ECU firmware versions present in your car. The presence of certain ECU firmware versions is an indication of the model year, car brand, car model, and trim.

If your car isn’t recognized as supported, your device will fall back to a dashcam only mode, preserving the stock functionalities and the user will receive a notification on the screen.

How do I update openpilot?

All software updates are received over-the-air (OTA). Your device will notify you on the screen when an update is available and prompt you to reboot the device to complete the update.

Does openpilot work at all speeds?

Supported speeds vary depending on the car. Please reference the supported car chart for vehicle specific speed limitations. Maximum speed is the same as the maximum speed that stock ACC can be set to (car dependent) with a hard limit at ~84mph.

What is Cabana?

Cabana is comma’s web app that allows you to inspect, label, and plot vehicle data collected by your panda. Cabana is accessible through explorer; select a drive, click on the "Open in Cabana" button at the bottom. Only drives recorded with CAN data can be viewed in Cabana.

What is a fingerprint?

A fingerprint is the method openpilot uses to determine which vehicle it is connected to. 

Current methods use vehicle ECU firmware logging. openpilot will fingerprint the vehicle on each start up. 

If openpilot detects a firmware version not previously logged, it will need to be added to the codebase. Guides on adding new firmware can be found here

What are community features?

Community features are features from the open source community that are not maintained or supported by comma.ai and have not been confirmed to meet the standard safety model. These features included community supported cars and community supported hardware. Be extra cautious when using these features

What does it mean to be a community supported vehicle?

Community supported vehicles are vehicles not verified by comma to support our vehicle safety model. Be extra cautious using them. 

To promote a car from community maintained, it must meet a few requirements. We must own one from the brand, we must sell the harness for it, has full ISO26262 in both panda and openpilot, there must be a path forward for longitudinal control, it must have AEB still enabled, and it must support fingerprinting 2.0

How do I update to the latest version of openpilot?

openpilot will automatically check for updates when connected to the internet. When an update is available it will automatically download in the background and prompt the user to update when complete. 

You may also manually check for update in the settings, under the "software" tab. 

Where is my dongle ID?

The dongleID of your device can be found in Settings of the device in the Device tab. 

How do I leave feedback for openpilot?

Feedback. good or bad, can be given in our "openpilot-experience" channel on our community discord.

comma Devices

How and where to I buy a comma device?

The comma shop is the only official retailer of comma devices (the comma two and comma three). The comma shop accepts all major credit cards. We offer free shipping in the U.S. and $30 flat rate international shipping. 


Buy the comma three here and the comma two here.

What is the comma two?

The comma two is a development kit designed to run open source software and make your driving experience more chill. The comma two does not come preloaded with software capable of controlling your car. Open source software can be installed separately by the user.

Check out the video. comma two is designed for permanent installation in your car. It includes a stealth mount, quieter cooling, integrated black panda, and power supplied from the car. The comma two has front facing infrared LEDs that allow it to provide driver monitoring at night.  

Buy the comma two here.

I ordered a comma device! Now what?

Congratulations! Get started by watching the Installation Guide on our setup page. We find on average the installation process takes 15-30 minutes.

If you encounter an issue, we recommend you join our Discord community where hundreds of active users are available to help troubleshoot.

For updates on shipping dates, join the comma-shipping channel on Discord. Orders are fulfilled on Monday and Thursday. You can cancel your order for a full refund up until it ships by emailing support@comma.ai.

Does installing a comma device require permanent modifications to the car?

Installing a comma device does not require any permanent modifications to your car. With the car harness, most car trims remain in place.

How do I mount my comma device?

Watch our Mounting Guide. First, figure out where on the windshield you would like to mount the device. We recommend it be centered on the windshield below the trim. Be sure to leave enough room to remove the trim in the future. Clean the windshield before mounting with the included alcohol wipe. Remove adhesive and hold mount in place with light pressure for 10 seconds. Remove the comma device and press firmly on the mount. Let the adhesive cure for 48 hours.

Before placing the device on your windshield, check the state and local laws and ordinances where you drive. Some state laws prohibit or restrict the placement of objects on the windshield of a motor vehicle. IT IS THE USER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO MOUNT THE DEVICE IN COMPLIANCE WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS AND ORDINANCES. Always mount your device in a location that does not obstruct the driver's view of the road. comma does not assume any responsibility for any fines, penalties, or damages that may be incurred as a result of any state or local law or ordinance relating to the use of your comma device.

Note: In California, a system with driver monitoring can be mounted on the top center of windshield.

Will installing a comma device void my warranty?

From the FTC website: "Simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void your warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part."

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance

Will my insurance cover my car with a comma device installed?

Contact your insurance provider directly; insurance coverage is between the user and their insurance provider. comma hardware users have been able to get coverage and discuss this on reddit here

Insurance companies are beginning to understand the safety benefits of ADAS and LKAS systems like openpilot and we have not heard of any providers rejecting coverage to comma hardware users.

How long will my device have software support?

Although there's no official support for any software, it is comma's policy to continue providing software updates to hardware for 1 year after it is the latest generation sold.

Comma two will receive software updates through July 2022.

comma Prime

What is Connect?

Connect (https://connect.comma.ai/) is a dashboard of your recent drives.

Connect provides other features (some require a comma prime subscription) such as battery voltage, snapshot, and navigation guidance

How do I review my drives?

Check out your recent drives in Connect.

Your drives are stored for 3 days (or 1 year with a comma prime subscription).

What is comma prime?

comma prime is an MVNO, meaning we sell mobile service to all of you in the United States. Although you are buying service through comma, it should have coverage everywhere a certain major cell network does. It’s unlimited, meaning you can’t run out. It is capped to 512 kbps of bandwidth.

All comma devices ship with a comma prime SIM card and include 3 free months of comma prime (initiated on ship date). Visit my.comma.ai to claim your free comma prime. We also have an app called comma connect; available on iOS and Android.

With our new qlog infrastructure, you should be able to upload your routes in real time. And in the app, we’ll be rolling out more and more features that benefit from having an always connected device. We also have an SSH proxy that is available with comma prime. This, combined with the cell phone service, allows you to access your device remotely from anywhere. You’ll also have remote access to all the other methods in athena using our API.

When you enter your GitHub username on your device under Developer Settings, your GitHub authorized public keys will become your authorized SSH keys for ssh.comma.ai. See ssh.comma.ai for further instructions.

comma does not have and does not want remote access to your device (unlike certain electric car companies), because your device is yours. You alone control your private key for remote access. Our security model is the same as SSH, so a compromise would likely mean someone has gained access to your private key (or an OpenSSH 0-day just compromised 80% of the internet!). comma does not have your private key and a comma employee will never ask you for your private key.

I have prime on my comma two. How do I move it to my comma three?

Here is the best way to get prime on your new device.

  1. Cancel your existing prime subscription through connect.comma.ai
  2. Sign up for prime on the comma three (and get a new three month trial)

We aren't able to transfer comma prime subscriptions between devices.

How do I cancel comma prime?

We've made the Refund Policy as straightforward as we can, no hidden clauses and no fine print.

  • You may cancel your subscription by selecting the "Cancel Subscription" option on my.comma.ai in the settings cog -> "Device Settings" -> "Manage Prime Settings". You can do this at any time without incurring a cancellation fee. Upon canceling your comma prime membership, no further fees will be charged.
  • If you have a free trial period, we will charge your credit card with the monthly subscription fee at the end of the trial period.
  • We will continue to charge your credit card account on a monthly basis until you cancel your subscription. For example, if you joined on April 5 your credit card will be charged on May 5; June 5; July 5; and so on until you cancel your subscription.
  • Your cancellation takes effect immediately, and you will be partially refunded for any unused portion of your services. For example, you chose a monthly subscription on September 1. On November 1, your credit card is charged as usual. On November 14, you decide to cancel your subscription. No further charges will be made to your credit card, and you will receive a refund for the period of November 14 through November 31.

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