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How to program a self-driving car

Illustration of a wooden car next to a VW beetle
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

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