Lyft drive ahead with online learning platform Udacity
For many of us, self-driving cars still seem like a distant reality, confined to the realms of Silicon Valley. However, the strides being made in this field are making it look increasingly likely we are heading for a future where self-driving cars dominate our roads.
Supported by developing e-learning platforms, companies such as Lyft are looking to get more people involved in contributing to the future of private, and potentially public transport.
Naturally, the fight for the future of self-driving technology relies on research conducted by the brightest minds in engineering. Lyft has emerged as one of Uber’s closest competitors in the US in recent years and, as they battle it out for market share, are pumping money into research for leading the self-drive revolution. As Lyft themselves recently stated, ‘’Self-driving cars is a field of vastly growing opportunities, but with an alarming shortage of talent.’’ Partnering with innovative e-learning platforms might be the way to tackle this issue.
Early in 2016, online learning portal Udacity introduced its first 36-week ‘’nanodegree’’ for aspiring self-driving car engineers. The course covers topics such as "machine learning, object-oriented programming and probabilistic robotics." As Udacity states, ‘’It is built for seasoned software engineers, who wish to dive into the nitty gritty details of how to make a self-driving car.’’
It is hoped that with the ease of access offered by proven online learning platforms like Udacity, a new wave of inspired engineers, from a range of ages, backgrounds, and experiences will help drive this tech-revolution.
Udacity has teamed-up with Lyft to provide scholarships to the intro course to help increase the diversity of participants to the programme, making 400 scholarships available across the US. As Lyft said, people "from all backgrounds and perspectives should have the opportunity to contribute to the future of transportation in the form of self-driving cars.’’ Sourcing talented engineers from a wider pool is a great way to inspire a greater range of solutions for bringing forth the self-driving revolution.
This announcement is indicative of an emerging trend - the most forward-thinking organisations are embracing online learning platforms as a way to develop the skills and knowledge that will be indispensable as engineering and technology takes the next leap forward.
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