Are you interested in learning the technology behind today's self driving cars? Do you want to get involved in the industry and make your mark in a new sector? Then you're probably interested in Udacity's Self-driving car nanodegree.
The big question is, is it worth it? Are there better opportunities to learn out there?
Well, in this blog post I'll be providing my honest review of the course and letting you know whether it is worth your time, effort and money.
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Let's start by taking a look at the syllabus of this course.
Term 1 - Deep Learning and Computer Vision: The first term concentrates on Computer vision using mostly the Python programming language. There are a total of 5 projects in the first term. These include
Term 2 - Robotics: This term focuses on Control, Sensor Fusion and Localization and some other elements of robotics. C++ is the primary language in this term, so it's good to have at least a basic functional understanding of how C++ works before taking this course. As a complete newbie to Robotics and having only a basic understanding of C++ this term proved quite difficult for me to master, but there was help at the ready for when I got stuck. This term consists of 5 projects, just like the previous term. These include:
Term 3 - Concentrations, System Integration and Path Planning: The hardest and final term of the entire course, it's filled with 3 fantastic projects that really get your brain going and will take some serious thought and effort to complete. It will be challenging, but you will learn a lot here. Both Python and C++ is used in this section, bringing the power of the two together. Without further delay, here are the different projects included in the final term:
It's going to vary - Udacity recommends between 15-20 hours per week but in my experience it took a lot more than that. You will run into problems and sometimes things don't get fixed for awhile, even with the expert help. Be prepared to work extra hard for this degree. If you really want to make the most out of your Udacity Nanodegree experience, you'll want to be doing other cool projects with the knowledge you're learning along the way - this will increase your likelihood of receiving job offers at the end as well.
I'm not going to lie - it's a really tough course. But once you've completed it you will have applicable real-world skills that can help you land the job you want.
The content in the course is of a very high quality and I was incredibly pleased with the level of support offered during the degree. It provides an understanding of the classical approaches to self driving cars but also includes a good amount of deep learning approaches. It really gets you up to speed enough that you could handle an entry level job in the industry.
Definitely. The course goes pretty in-depth straight away and it doesn't cover the basics. It's important you have a decent understanding of both C++ and Python syntax and structure.
Not to worry, if you are not a capable programmer just yet, there is a wide variety of course available online to get you up to date with the latest programming languages.
We highly recommend Pluralsight as a great starting point to take you from novice to expert in a variety of languages including Python, which is featured heavily in this nanodegree.