In April this year, Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun stood down as the CEO of Udacity to focus on “innovation and hitting our next moon shots at Udacity—as president and chairman of the company I founded.”
Udacity Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree Program
Now we know what he’s been up to (at least partially, anyway). Udacity just announced a Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree led by Sebastian Thrun and David Silver, whose title is apparently “Autonomous Vehicle Engineer” at Udacity. According to his LinkedIn, before this role he had a three month stint at Ford as an Autonomous Vehicle Engineer, too.
The Nanodegree will “help you learn the skills and techniques used by self-driving car teams.”
Self-Driving Cars and Flying Cars
Sebastian Thrun: Google’s driverless car — Ted Talk
Thrun has a passion for building a safer transportation system after losing his best friend to a car accident at the age of 18.
Thrun has worked on self-driving cars for more than a decade now. His team at Stanford created the robotic vehicle “Stanley,” which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and its US$2 million prize from the United States Department of Defense. Later on he led the self-driving car project at Google and founded GoogleX.
According to Bloomberg, Thrun is also president of a stealth startup that is building flying cars and which is funded by Larry Page.
Flying cars or not, Udacity and Thrun believe that self-driving cars are the future, and they want to help people build this future. The Nanodegree hasn’t been launched yet and you can sign up here to get notified about it.
Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.