Coursera, a for-profit online learning business, today launched a Self-Driving Cars Specialization created by the University of Toronto. The four-part online course is said to be the first-of-its-kind to provide learners with knowledge and engineering to make safe autonomous vehicles a reality. The Specialization is designed for paying students who already have some engineering experience, but little to no formal training in self-driving technologies. (AutoInformed: Beware of Self Interest in Mobility Promotion says NADA)
Experts – with scant, sometimes questionable data – predict that the demand for skilled workers within the autonomous vehicle industry will continue to climb, creating more than 100,000 U.S. mobility industry jobs in the next decade.
The major players/promoters in today’s self-driving car market keep their technology and advancements secretly, “making it difficult to gain access to the crucial knowledge needed to enter the field,” asserts Courseca. To profit on access to top quality self-driving car development knowledge, Coursera and the University of Toronto will offer a series of advanced, hands-on simulation and programming assignments at a $79 per month, apparently at the top of its monthly fees. Total cost was not provided in the release and Courseca did not respond to AutoInformed’s repeated requests for more data.
“Self-driving cars will reshape our cities and our lives, in the process creating tens of thousands of new jobs for those who have the right skills,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera.
Steven Waslander and Jonathan Kelly from the University of Toronto, teach the Specialization based on 30 years of experience and pioneering techniques in autonomous robotics research. Learners enrolled in the Specialization will also learn directly from companies such as Oxbotica and Zoox.
“Self-driving cars have the potential to increase road safety, lead to more efficient use of roadways and vehicles, and even reduce pollution,” said Jonathan Kelly, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.
“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more challenging engineering problem than designing robust self-driving cars. But that challenge is very exciting. It forces us to think about new ways of doing things. And the more people we have doing it, the greater our chances of success,” he concluded.
The Specialization provides a details of the architecture and components of a self-driving car software stack, methods for static and dynamic object detection including processing real-time data from sensors, estimating a car’s location, and issuing commands for vehicle control. By the end of the four-course Specialization, students will be able to drive a virtual car around a simulated racetrack.
The first course of the new Specialization launches on January 30th, with subsequent courses rolling out during 2019. For more information, visit coursera.org/specializations/self-driving-cars.
Coursera was founded by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng with a goal of providing learning experiences to anyone, anywhere. It now claims to be the world’s largest online learning platform for higher education. About 170 of the world’s universities and industry educators are paid by Coursera to offer courses, Specializations, and degrees to more than 37 million learners around the world . More than 1,500 companies use the company’s enterprise platform, Coursera for Business. Coursera is backed by venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, GSV Capital, and Learn Capital.