Online learning platform Coursera has launched a Self-Driving Cars Specialisation created by the University of Toronto. The four-part online specialisation is the first-of-its-kind to provide learners with knowledge and engineering to make safe autonomous vehicles a reality. The specialisation is designed for learners who already have some engineering experience, but little to no formal training in self-driving technologies.
Experts predict that the market for self-driving cars will reach $42 billion by 2025 and that the demand for skilled workers within the autonomous vehicle industry will continue to climb, creating more than 100,000 US mobility industry jobs in the next decade. The major players in today’s self-driving car market guard their technology and advancements closely, making it difficult to gain access to the crucial knowledge needed to enter the field. To democratise 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 an industry-leading price of $79 per month.
“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. We’re excited to partner with the University of Toronto, a top-ranked leader in autonomous vehicle research, to train the next generation of engineers who will bring safe, autonomous vehicles to public roads,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO, Coursera.
World-renowned experts, Professor Steven Waslander and Professor Jonathan Kelly from the University of Toronto, teach the specialisation based on 30 years of experience and pioneering techniques in autonomous robotics research. Learners enrolled in the specialisation will also learn directly from industry experts from leading companies like 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. 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,” said Jonathan Kelly, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.
The specialisation provides a detailed understanding 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 specialisation, students will be able to drive a virtual car around a simulated racetrack. The first course of the new specialisation was launched on January 30th, with subsequent courses rolling out during 2019.