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Flying cars are no longer the stuff of science fiction, as numerous companies work toward making private urban aviation transport a reality. This was evidenced at CES 2018 in Las Vegas earlier this month.
The online education company revealed back in September that it was building a special course for developers interested in learning about the concepts and mechanics of getting machines off the ground and into the skies, and anyone can apply from today through February 7.
Founded in 2011, Udacity is one of a number of companies operating in the massive open online courses (MOOCs) realm, with thousands of people enrolled in Udacity’s various nanodegree programs. Udacity founder and president Sebastian Thrun previously headed up Google X, Google’s so-called “moonshot” program that included Google Glass, Project Loon, and a self-driving car program Thrun helped to kickstart. Leading on from this, Udacity previously launched a self-driving car nanodegree in partnership with big-name brands such as Mercedes-Benz.
The flying car nanodegree program constitutes two 12-week terms that cost $1,200 each, though those who enroll by February 19 will pay $899 for the first term.
The first term focuses on “aerial robotics,” with students learning the basic concepts behind getting robots to fly, while the second term is centered on “intelligent air systems,” which will delve deeper into flying cars and coordinated autonomous systems.
Udacity is also offering a free preview version of the course that includes two taster sections: “Intro to autonomous flight” and “Backyard flyer.”
Autonomous drone delivery services are already beginning to roll out in commercial scenarios, including medical supplies delivery, industrial site surveys, and more, while urban air taxis are now in their early stages.
As more companies work toward putting autonomous vehicles in the skies, this should create a substantial demand for very specific skills. And that is what Udacity is catering to with its latest nanodegree program — it’s looked at current moves in the tech industry and anticipated potential skills shortages further down the line.
“As investment in the emerging field of autonomous flight ramps up significantly, the talent wars are simultaneously heating up as well,” noted Udacity flying cars lead Jake Lussier. “Our program offers the unrivaled opportunity to master the in-demand skills necessary to secure rewarding employment with the increasing number of companies — from large organizations such as Airbus, Boeing, and Uber, to startups like Kitty Hawk, Lilium, and Terrafugia — hiring in the flying car space.”
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