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Udacity expands self-driving car partnership with Mercedes-Benz

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.


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“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.


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