Make Subaru Legacy or Outback into a self-driving car

There has been a lot of progress with the Open Pilot project by Comma.ai. I had previously made a few posts early on and then when the product was first made open source. There are now a few people working on the Subaru port of the Open Pilot project, they say that a working version is in the works, just needing some additional tuning. Whether that means it can be tuned to work or not with the Subaru awaits to be seen.

I’m seriously considering giving it a try, but I’m a bit hesitant to try to get it all set-up, and I’m thinking I may as well wait until they have the tuning worked out. I need to do some more reading myself to see what sort of effort is involved in tuning a port. I have just enough knowledge of computer programming to be dangerous.

From what I gather, the process (as of now) includes buying three parts – the Eon (which is $500), a Panda ($100 or $200 for the one with High Precision GPS), and a Giraffe (around $60). The Giraffe needs to be a custom one made for the Subaru and there are people who make and sell them separately. If the Subaru ever gets officially supported, perhaps they will sell them directly from comma.ai

The Eon is a cell phone with a custom case to reduce heat, with software pre-installed that is custom to support the software you need. It is not shipped with the self-driving software, called Open Pilot. This is probably the way that comma.ai is able to avoid the issues that regulators. You can install the Open Pilot software after receiving the Eon.

Apparently you connect all the parts together, attach them to a connector that is underneath the camera housing, mount the EON to the windshield under the rear view mirror.

If more progress is made, I’ll post it here. And if I ever decide to spend the approximately $750 to test it out, I’ll post my experiences here. If anyone else has tried it and wants to share, please do!

Updated 1/9/20 – I found the attached video on YouTube of someone driving a 2015 Subaru Outback using Comma.ai’s Open Pilot.  It looks like it is working reasonably well.  With the announcement of comma two, I am again tempted to consider this.

4 thoughts on “Make Subaru Legacy or Outback into a self-driving car”

  1. I was close to making the leap, but decided that from a liability perspective, it seems like the comma.ai approach may be problematic. If for some reason I got into an accident and I had the system installed – whether active or not – I wouldn’t want to have to explain what it is and why it is there. I am particularly risk averse, but having unregulated software operating a car would be very hard to justify.

    Yes – I’d love to be an early adopter for self-driving technology, but the potential risks involved are keeping me from going this route at this time. I’m still following it closely and maybe at some point I’ll change my mind. But for now, I’m just watching from the sidelines.

    1. Go to comma.ai and order the comma 2 and any Subaru harness. I’ll find a link for the Subaru openpilot chat room and people there can help with the installation and set-up. I haven’t ordered one for myself yet, but I have done online chats with several people who have it working on the Subaru outback. At this time, it is still using the Subaru adaptive cruise control for speed settings, but openpilot will control the steering. I assume at some point the speed will also be managed by open pilot, but I am curious how it determines distance to the car ahead unless it can tap into the eyesight data somehow. The main car it is being developed on is a Toyota Corolla but there are several people who are adapting openpilot for Subaru.

      http://discord.comma.ai/

      There is a dedicated subgroup there for Subaru. There are “pinned” messages with details on setup and installation, but if you ask in that group for help, there are several people there who can walk you through each step.

      If you do install this, please add your comments on this website!

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