Dude, Where’s My Car?

2 minute read

I swear this is a true story and not made up for marketing reasons.

I walked to work this morning, and left the car keys for my friend to drive in later. At 11:31 AM, I get a call. “Dude, your car is gone.” And I’m like nah, nobody steals cars anymore, particularly not 2020 Hyundai Sonatas. So I tell him to check again and go over exactly where my spot is. 11:35 AM, I get another call. Still no car.

So then I think I’m dumb and probably parked it in the wrong place. A quick trip over to my.comma.ai shows this is not the case.

My car, chilling in spot 26

It occurred to me the fact that the video was uploaded was suspicious, since that car is 5 stories underground with no reception. So it must have gotten reception at some point, in fact, it might even still have it now. A jump into the comma connect app, and…

The whole fleet is online!

There it is, “comma Sonata current” with a green circle online. Since I have comma prime, I clicked on it, which triggered a screenshot.

Definitely not where I left my car!

Totally not where I parked it. I parked it inside. The car is outside! And it’s with friends…this is a tow lot.

I called the building, they gave me the towing company number. The towing company confirmed the car was towed due to a “lack of a parking pass.” But a quick trip back to my.comma.ai (you can also do this in the app), showed a parking pass, clear as day, just 2 minutes earlier!

Parking pass on the dashboard

While going to get the car back, which they wanted $332 for, I compiled this in an e-mail and sent it to Sonder, where I was renting the apartment from. E-mail with screenshots sent at 11:52 AM, full reimbursement at 12:11 PM. Really good on Sonder!

That’s a over a year of comma prime paid for, and a headache that was very quickly dealt with. I’m really proud of our team here at comma for building stuff that was so usable during an annoying situation.

Now that’s what you can do with the public stuff, internal logs were needed to show what time the towing actually happened, which was around 3 AM last night. It reconnected to the network at 3:08 AM.

Screengrab from kibana searching the athena logs

We are working to make this feature public, a timeline of car connectivity. We are also working on “comma security.” This experience was pretty good, but imagine I got a text at 3AM and could have prevented this whole situation. Turns out the parking pass was on the floor.

Sad parking pass on floor in tow lot.

Want to come work here and build stuff like this? comma.ai/jobs

Want to get this in your car? Buy a comma two today!

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