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We hit the road with Comma.ai's assisted-driving tech at CES 2020

This plug-and-play system can give many late-model vehicles advanced adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping technology.

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The Comma Two monitor attaches to your windshield.

Marc Ganley/Roadshow
This story is part of CES 2020, our complete coverage of the showroom floor and the hottest new tech gadgets around.

George Hotz wants to make driving chill. The Comma.ai CEO rolled out the latest version of his company's assisted-driving hardware here at CES 2020, featuring a more user-friendly interface and a cleaner install. The Comma Two is a piece of hardware about the size of a smartphone that can be mounted on your windshield. A forward-facing camera shows the road ahead with your lane highlighted, your speed and the speed limit.  

To activate, you download the Openpilot software. It's free, open-source software that gives many late-model vehicles from Acura, Chrysler, Honda, Jeep, Kia, Subaru and Toyota the ability to accelerate, brake and stay in a lane with no intervention from the driver. 

To start, you merely press the "set" button on the car's native cruise control system. A new infrared, rear-facing camera keeps tabs on the driver while an improved cooling system means the Comma Two can be used even in the baking heat of Death Valley in the summer. Drivers can take over control of the car at any time by tapping the brake or gas pedal. While the previous iteration was a bit messy, with dongles galore, this new system plugs directly into the car with two hidden wires. 

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My previous test of the Comma.ai system on the highway in San Francisco resulted in smooth acceleration and no disengagements. This drive, on a busy street in Las Vegas, proved equally successful. Hotz's Honda Civic stayed centered in the lane, even through a confusing intersection, and remained engaged while behind another car at a red light. While I had to take over once thanks to a semi truck causing chaos, the technology wasn't thrown off by a rogue compact car that entered from the right and quickly crossed multiple lanes of traffic to make a left turn. 

On the way back, I let the Honda's native adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist take over. The lane-keeping assist would not work at the 35-mph speed and the adaptive cruise control braked late and harsh, to the point where I just turned it off. The Comma Two tech had a far smoother overall operation.

Comma Two tech isn't some far-out thing, either. You can order it on the Comma.ai website right now for $999, with the first units shipping on Jan. 20.