Can the Public Beat GM, Google and Uber on Self-Driving Cars?

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Self-driving cars are already rolling along in Pittsburgh, thanks to Uber (albeit on a small scale with humans onboard, ready to intervene), and a Wired writer gave it a shot. A bevy of companies are working to put autonomous cars on the streets, but a new announcement by Udacity at TechCrunch Disrupt SF could and should send shockwaves into the nascent industry. Udacity is best known as a titan of online education, specializing in "nanodegrees" for people interested in working in the tech sector. For 2400 and a 9-month commitment, Udacity can turn prospective students into viable experts on self-driving vehicle technology, capable enough to work with the likes of Google, Uber, and other firms working on this next step forward. Of course, new students will need a background in programming, but the course will offer the chance to master deep learning, sensor fusion, vehicle kinematics, and more subjects to enable your new Tesla drive on its own accord.


You now can get a degree in ... self-driving cars

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Tech columnist Jennifer Jolly takes a spin in a self-driving Ford Fusion and gets the scoop on how the technology works. Mercedes-Benz, whose engineers have been working on self-driving car technology, is eager to increase the size of its engineering team both in Silicon Valley and in Germany. SAN FRANCISCO -- So you say you want join the automotive revolution? Over the past few years, only elite roboticists have been positioned to heed the self-driving car's call to action. Armed with degrees from places such as Carnegie Mellon University and experience at institutions such as NASA, these tech whizzes have been highly sought after by technology and automotive companies looking to build the future.


Your ride to a self-driving car tech job just pulled up

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Mercedes-Benz, whose engineers have been working on self-driving car technology, is eager to increase the size of its engineering team both in Silicon Valley and in Germany. SAN FRANCISCO - So you say you want join the automotive revolution? Over the past few years, only elite roboticists have been positioned to heed the self-driving car's call to action. Armed with degrees from places such as Carnegie Mellon University and experience at institutions such as NASA, these tech titans have been highly sought after by technology and automotive companies looking to build the future. But now massive open online course pioneer Udacity has a proposition: Give the Web-based education outfit 36 weeks and 2,400, and they'll turn graduates onto jobs at autonomous-car partner companies Mercedes-Benz, Didi Chuxing, Nvidia and Otto.


Ex-Googler Sebastian Thrun says the going rate for self-driving talent is 10 million per person

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When Sebastian Thrun started working on self-driving cars at Google in 2007, few people outside of the company took him seriously. "I can tell you very senior CEOs of major American car companies would shake my hand and turn away because I wasn't worth talking to," said Thrun, now the co-founder and CEO of online higher education startup Udacity, in an interview with Recode earlier this week. A little less than a decade later, dozens of self-driving startups have cropped up while automakers around the world clamor, wallet in hand, to secure their place in the fast-moving world of fully automated transportation. And these companies are hungry for talent and skill sets many don't have. "Uber has just bought a half-a-year-old company [Otto] with 70 employees for almost 700 million," Thrun said.


Lyft partners with Udacity to hire self-driving car engineers

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Lyft is teaming up with Udacity to find talent for its Level 5 autonomous driving engineering team. The partnership entails a challenge designed to identify the best candidates in Udacity's self-driving car engineer nanodegree program. Called the Lyft Perception Challenge, the idea is to test problem-solving skills around perception for autonomous vehicles. The competition, which runs for a full month from today until June 1, asks engineers to develop perception algorithms that can recognize cars in simulated urban environments no matter what the day or weather condition. "Lyft recognizes that conventional recruiting strategies no longer suffice.