Feb 7, 2019

How to program a self-driving car

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you've got a decent background in math, you can learn how to program a self-driving car through a new online program offered by Coursera in partnership with the University of Toronto, a leading hub for AV research.

Why it matters: Coursera aims to get more people interested in AV engineering and claims, "The next big job boom is right around the corner."

Quick take: While its predictions of a $42 billion market and more than 20 million self-driving cars on the road by 2025 seem unlikely, AVs are still a growing field demanding a new kind of workforce.

Details: The AV specialization consists of 4 courses taught by 2 professors from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.

  • It starts with "Introduction to Self-Driving Cars."
  • Each self-paced course takes 4–6 weeks, after which you receive a certificate of completion.
  • It will take 4–6 months to complete all the courses, after which Coursera says you'll be able to build your own self-driving software stack and apply for jobs in AV technology.
  • The fee is $79 per month, but it's free to audit without earning a certificate.

Not just anyone can apply. It's recommended that you have some background in linear algebra, probability, statistics, calculus, physics, control theory, and Python programming.

My thought bubble: What could possibly go wrong by unleashing a bunch of math nerds to program their own self-driving cars in their garage?

Go deeper: The great auto disruption

Go deeper

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.

Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.