Just as a way of keeping everyone up to date on what’s happening on the development end, I wanted to take this time to detail out a few of our upcoming projects. This should give everyone an idea of what hardware is on the horizon, and how they can use these new products in their self-driving aims.
The GiantPanda is seen as the next generation to the Neo, and in some respects it is. The GiantPanda is cool in that it gives people who want a Neo-like experience, (enclosed unit w/ case & cooling), but need more hardware to support their vehicles, (OBDII instead of JAE, for example), the ability to join the cool train.
The unit takes an interface board and combines that with a panda computing unit direct from the comma.ai team. The openboards team will be offering the first giantpanda interface boards with or without the mini header sockets attached. Comma.ai’s Eddie Samuels has stated in earlier messages to the community that the mini header sockets featured on the REV B Pandas will not be included on REV C Pandas due to cost concerns. And he’s right. Those little header sockets can only be sourced from adafruit locally and are stupid expensive. We’re talking $8 bucks + shipping for FIVE 36 pin units. Even if you spent some time figuring out the best way to separate out each of the pin header modules needed, you still end up spending more than for other off the shelf solutions.
We at openboards decided that option wasn’t really feasible, so we elected to do our own thing. Stay tuned for details.
Also, hackers can also elect to send in their REV C Pandas to the openboards team and have them desoldered for placement into the giantpanda board, or purchase the boards directly from us. You’ve got options.
2. Voltboard VT
The Voltboard VT was developed in collaboration with superhacker extraordinaire, vtarasov. It’s based on his initial work on the Gen II Chevrolet Volt. We made a few tweaks and cleaned up some details, and are happy with the result. Based on information we’ve started to get back on the Volt port and our understanding on GM development, it is very possible that this same solution will enable self-driving capabilities on other GM vehicles. We’ve still got testing to do on that end, but the future is looking very sunny.
The Gen I of the Voltboard VT will require the use of a panda as well. Version II will eliminate this need for dual hardware.
NeoM is a neo board with external connectivity for motor control. It is based on work done by vtarasov. Those of you who have older cars, or would just like to bypass some of the CAN work in favor of something more physical, this option is for you. As of now, this board will only handle the steering. All acceleration and braking will need to be done by you. Because of the lack of some of the safety features found in solutions for vehicles with LKAS and ACC, we recommend this board be used by individuals with a full understanding of the safety implications. Not recommended for use on an open road. Stick to parking lots and private driveways.
4. Codename: SuperNEO
The superneo project is currently underway, and is being developed to allow for enhanced adaptability. It combines all your favorite features from previous boards into one kickass package. Active cooling, and plenty of CAN, LIN, and GMLAN. We’ve also made sure to include additional I/O for expansion ports, so you can hack to your heart’s content.
5. Rearview Mirror Enclosure (RME)
Just what it says. Will feature active cooling and a two way mirror to allow for more inconspicuous selfdriving setups. We have had interest on the slack for a simple case that looks like a rear view mirror enclosure, but does not have all of the features that the RME will have. This is definitely possible. We are exploring a way to make this happen.
Well folks, that’s all the big stuff. We’ll have plenty of smaller products out (cables, NCI-03s, NCI-04s) in the mean time.
If you have any questions about any of these products, let me know!