The Udacity course will by taught by Sebastian Thrun, ETH Zurich professor Raffaello D'Andrea, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Nicholas Roy and University at Toronto professor Angela Schoellig (pictured).
Udacity, the online education startup founded by self-driving car veteran Sebastian Thrun, is opening its digital doors to potential flying car engineers by offering a program that includes a course taught by a University of Toronto professor.
In a blog post Tuesday, the company said it has begun accepting applications for its newest class: a two-term course on engineering a flying car. The eight-month, $2,400 program will begin in late February, helping engineers develop skills for jobs at large aeronautics companies or the latest wave of flying car startups.
"Safety is priority 1, 2, and 3 for anything that flies, and is an absolute must for flying cars," Thrun said in a statement. "Right now there simply aren't enough engineers who know what it takes to deliver this."
Thrun, who led Google's "moonshot lab" where its self-driving project was born, started Udacity in 2012. The startup provides "nanodegree" programs, teaching specialized skills to meet the rising talent demand in fields like self-driving cars and virtual reality.
More than 43,000 people applied to Udacity's autonomous vehicle nanodegree program -- which launched in September 2016 -- in its first year, and the startup enrolled 10,000 students from 50 countries. The online school has partnered with companies such as Lyft, Nvidia and BMW to hire graduates of the program.
As the self-driving car space continues to gain traction, flying cars may be the new frontier for engineers looking to be at the cutting edge of technology. Companies from Google to Uber to Volvo Cars' Chinese owner Zhejiang Geely have been investing in the space, and Thrun heads his own flying car startup, Kitty Hawk, backed by Alphabet CEO Larry Page.
The Udacity course will by taught by Thrun, ETH Zurich professor Raffaello D'Andrea, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Nicholas Roy and University at Toronto professor Angela Schoellig. Students will learn how to code autonomous aircrafts and test software on their own drones, as well as learn to manage entire fleets of aerial vehicles.
Schoelling will teach aerial robotics.
“Robots flying in dynamic environments must be able to learn and adapt. Our first term provides the necessary foundation in estimation, controls, and planning,” Schoelling says in a course description on Udacity’s website.