RMIT launches self-driving car course with Udacity

RMIT launches self-driving car course with Udacity

Learning provider led by former Google autonomous car project lead, Sebastian Thrun

RMIT Online has partnered with global learning provider Udacity to offer courses on self-driving cars.

Udacity has previously worked with Google, Facebook, Mercedes-Benz and NVIDIA, and was founded by Sebastian Thrun, former lead of Google’s autonomous vehicle effort, now known as Waymo. Thrun is also co-inventor of Google Street View.

The university said the program would take students “beyond the hype and headlines” and give them the skills required in career as a qualified self-driving car engineer.

“We are excited to be combining the best of Silicon Valley with RMIT’s local industry partnerships and mentors, helping students achieve a credential from the leading university for future skills in Australia and real job outcomes,” Thrun said.

“Researchers estimate that autonomous cars will save 10 million lives per decade. It’s an exciting, challenging and infinitely rewarding space to be working together with RMIT Online to educate Australians for the future,” he added.

Topics covered in the $1,280 Intro to Self Driving Cars course will include computer vision, robotic controls, localisation and path planning.

The ‘Australian-first’ course also includes input from Holden, which said it was committed to a driverless future.

“We cannot ignore the role that autonomous vehicles will play in the future of transport and mobility. We’re already seeing this revolution unfold across the world, with industry leaders investing heavily in talent skilled in self-driving car technology,” said Brett Vivian, GM Holden executive director of engineering.

“We are thrilled to join RMIT and Udacity in driving innovation in an area to which we are so committed. On the path towards a driverless future – with safer roads and fewer crashes – we see education as critical to building the technical know-how and developing the soft skills beyond automotive engineering experience that will drive us to the forefront of the industry,” Vivian added.

The university also announced three other courses that would be open for enrolment next month: AI Programming with Python, Robotics Software Engineer and Front End Web Developer.

The course launches come hot on the heels of an announcement earlier this month that RMIT had partnered with Amazon Web Services to offer three new short online courses focusing on AI, AR and VR. 

“Disruptive changes to business models will have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years. At RMIT Online, we are working to address these skills gaps and companies and individuals must make a concerted effort to plan and upskill to meet the demands of the changing workforce,” said Helen Souness, CEO of RMIT Online.

On course

A number of Australian universities are conducting research into driverless vehicles and a number have their own.

In April, the University of Melbourne took delivery of an autonomous shuttle vehicle as part of its effort develop vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to vulnerable road user and vehicle to infrastructure communication systems.

In March last year, Curtin University claimed to be the first to trial a commercial driverless bus – from another French-company, Navya – as part of research around navigation satellite systems, road safety and mobility issues for people with a disability.

Another Navya shuttle is currently being tested at La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus.

Flinders University last year received $4 million from the SA government's Future Mobility Lab fund for its five-year driverless shuttle project, which also utilises Navya-made vehicles.

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Tags GoogleskillsRMITStreet ViewMOOCUdacitycourseautonomousdriverlessself-drivingWaymoRMIT Online

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