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Online learning provider Udacity announced this week that it is expanding its learning partnership with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America (MBRDNA) to train the next generation of engineering talent in self-driving car technology.  Udacity has announced a new program – the Sensor Fusion Engineer Nanodegree program – which has been developed in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, one of the first automotive manufacturers to be issued with an official license by the state of California to test self-driving vehicles on public roads in 2014. During the program, students will complete projects in lidar obstacle detection, radar obstacle detection, camera and lidar data fusion, and Kalman Filters. Those taking part in the program will also have an opportunity to learn the most innovative autonomous driving technologies from the autonomous driving team at Mercedes-Benz and self-driving car experts at Udacity, including Sebastian Thrun, a pioneer of self-driving car technologies and founder of Udacity. “Sensor fusion is a crucial component of autonomous vehicles at Mercedes-Benz,” said Michael Maile, Manager of the Sensor Fusion and Localization team at MBRDNA. Send me Driverless Weekly Email “Our partnership with Udacity is offering a great way of teaching engineers how to work with lidar, radar, and camera sensors to perceive the driving environment.” Udacity first partnered with the MBRDNA team in 2016 to build its Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program, which has since attracted more than 21,000 enrollments in over 120 countries. Graduates of the program have ended up working for employers including Audi, BMW, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Lyft, NVIDIA and Mercedes-Benz. “I have been working on self-driving cars for almost 15 years because I dream of a world where transportation is safe, fun and accessible to all,” said Sebastian Thrun, Founder, President and Executive Chairman at Udacity. “Mercedes-Benz is pioneering some of the most audacious innovations in this field and we are thrilled to partner with them once again.” Since launching its self-driving car engineering education programs in 2016, Udacity has partnered with leading companies working on autonomous vehicles to develop programs for those seeking careers in self-driving cars. In addition to its new sensor fusion program, Udacity offers an Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program that lets those with minimal programming experience enjoy the thrill of building self-driving cars, while its Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program lets students test their skills on the company’s own self-driving car in Silicon Valley. Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
Automotive company Geely Auto Group has opened a new research and development centre in Germany, focused on new propulsion systems and next-generation mobility technology. The Geely Auto Technical Deutschland (GATD) facility at Raunheim, close to Frankfurt airport, is expected to employ around 300 engineers and technology specialists within the next few years, as the group increases its presence in electrification and new energy vehicles. According to the company, the new centre will have a particular focus on developing premium electric cars, augmenting R&D already underway at facilities across Geely Auto’s network, including the Geely Research Institute in Hangzhou Bay, the China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT) in Gothenburg, and centres in Linjiang, China, and Coventry, UK. Send me Driverless Weekly Email The group currently has over 20,000 engineers, with more than 2,500 of them focused on new energy technologies. The new research and development centre will report directly to Feng Qing Feng, the company’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “We are delighted to extend our worldwide R&D capabilities to Germany, where we hope to take advantage of high-quality skills and technical capabilities in the country’s automotive industry,” said Feng. “Technologies developed at GATD will enhance the pace of innovation at our portfolio of brands, which are pioneering new systems in electrification, autonomous-drive systems and connectivity.” Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
Cambridge University’s Department of Engineering has announced the launch of a new information engineering course with a focus on autonomous driving. The course for second-year undergraduate students, taught by Professor Roberto Cipolla, Dr Richard Turner and Dr Glenn Vinnicombe, aims to provide a unified view of information engineering, showing how signal processing, computer vision, machine learning and control relate to one another. As part of the course, example applications are drawn from autonomous driving, and guest lecturers from industry will introduce the students to the anatomy of a self-driving car and its autonomous driving hardware. Send me Driverless Weekly Email The university has designed the new syllabus in response to a global shortage of engineers who are familiar with the topics covered by the course. “We’re delighted to launch this new course at a time when there is a desperate shortage of engineers who are familiar with computer vision, deep learning and reinforcement learning,” said Professor Cipolla. “We use the example application of autonomous driving to provide a real-world case study of important concepts and sub-areas of information engineering. This course also aims to equip students with the ability to solve simple computer vision and machine learning problems, including object detection and segmentation, and sequential decision-making.” Guest lecturers invited to talk as part of the new course include Dr Alex Kendall, co-founder of Cambridge-based machine learning company Wayve. The firm has been testing its self-driving cars on the city’s roads since January 2018. Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here. Send me Driverless Weekly Email
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