Udacity announces two new courses for smart transportation

Lester Mason
September 20, 2017

Lyft wants to create a world filled with self-driving cars, so the ride-hailing company will help the next generation of developers get the education they need to build it.

Silicon Valley-based online education platform Udacity on Wednesday announced two new nanodegree certification courses - "Introduction to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree Program" and "Flying Car Nanodegree Program" - to educate students about smart transportation.

The Flying Car program's curriculum will be developed in collaboration with Nicholas Roy, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT; Raffaello D'Andrea, a professor of dynamic systems and control at ETH Zurich; Angela Schoellig, professor of aerospace studies at the University of Toronto; and Sebastian Thrun, Udacity's founder.

Students will learn the basics of autonomous flight, including motion planning, state estimation and perception, before then moving onto "more advanced topics" such as understanding the wider air transportation system, and deploying code to drones. Graduates will be eligible to automatically enroll in Udacity's year-old Self-Driving Car or Robotics Nanodegree programs, which is more focused on providing students with the skills necessary to land a job in the fast-growing autonomous vehicle market.

Online learning portal Udacity launched its first 36-week "nanodegree" course for self-driving auto engineering past year. Lyft and Udacity will aim to award students from communities that are "underrepresented in technology in the United States", according to a blog post about the program.

It also offers other nanodegrees in subjects like web development, artificial intelligence, robotics, deep learning and VR.

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