Silicon Valley-based, online learning platform, Udacity launched two new courses – Introduction to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree Program, and Flying Car Nanodegree Program – to push beyond the current generation of quadrotors and remote-controlled drones, and give students the skills to create autonomous flight vehicles that will be crucial to the transportation systems of the future.
The Flying Car Nanodegree Program will be introduced in the coming months, as Udacity builds up the curriculum for this course in collaboration with world-renowned experts in the aerospace industry, including Nicholas Roy (MIT Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics), Raffaelo D’Andrea (ETH Zurich Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control, Co-founder of Kiva Systems, now Amazon Robotics), Angela Schoellig (University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies) and Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun, well-known for his trailblazing work in the field of autonomy. This program will open in early 2018.
Speaking about the purpose and motivation behind the Flying Car Nanodegree Program, Sebastian Thrun, Founder, Udacity commented, “I envision a [future] where you hop in a thing, go in the air, and fly in a straight line. I envision a future where Amazon delivers my food in the air in five minutes. The air is so free of stuff and is so unused compared to the ground, it has to happen in my opinion.”
The Introduction to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree Program opens registrations today to anyone in the world with an internet connection, without application restrictions. The goal of this program is to bring the thrill of building self-driving cars to anyone with minimal programming experience, and to empower students to understand the essentials of programming a self-driving car: from machine learning to object-oriented programming to probabilistic robots. The only prerequisites are basic programming experience (for example, C++ or Python familiarity) and algebra. Students enrolling in this course will build projects and study topics including Bayesian Thinking, Matrices, C++ basics, Performance and Modeling, Algorithmic Thinking, and Machine Learning/Computer Vision. Students who complete this course will be eligible for automatic enrolment into Udacity’s job-ready, application-based Self-Driving Car or Robotics Nanodegree Program.
Speaking about how participants will gain by taking these programs, Ishan Gupta, Managing Director (India) – Udacity commented, “Udacity has been working towards preparing the workforce for the Jobs of tomorrow with cutting-edge technologies in areas of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence among others. After our success with the full-fledged Self-Driving Car Nanodegree, we felt the need to expand our portfolio of courses to meet the demand for a larger base of engineers who can contribute to the emerging areas of automation and transportation. With our Flying Car Nanodegree Program and Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree Program, our goal is to teach a new generation of engineers the skills necessary to build this smart transportation of the future and contribute to the wave of automation everywhere.”
With the launch of the Introduction to Self-Driving Cars and the Flying Car Nanodegree Program, Udacity is expanding both its pool of potential students as well as embracing the coming paradigm shift in the future of transportation.