Intro to Self-Driving Cars - Udacity

Can it really be more than a decade since “Stanley” won the DARPA Grand Challenge? What a watershed event that was for the world of autonomous vehicles! Back then, self-driving cars were something only a very few people even knew about, and they certainly weren’t on our roads—they had to be tested way out in the Mojave Desert!

Things have certainly changed.

The Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree Program

This time last year, our founder Sebastian Thrun announced the launch of our Self-Driving Car Nanodegree program at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. Many people may have thought that was a crazy idea. Hopefully some people believed we could do it. On Tuesday, the 19th of September, almost exactly one year later, Sebastian returned to DisruptSF to announce a new program—Intro to Self-Driving Cars. Why the new program? Because interest in this field has been greater than we could have ever imagined, and because the first program succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

On October 16, 2017, the first 415 Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program students will graduate. They will be the new leaders in this transformational field. Some 10,000 students have enrolled in this program. More than 50,000 people have applied. These are amazing numbers.

A Complete Path to Becoming a Self-Driving Car Engineer

At Udacity, we believe autonomous vehicle technology can and should be everyone’s passion, because self-driving transportation has the potential to improve everyone’s lives

With this new introductory program now open for enrollment, everyone who wants to can learn to build self-driving cars, because we’re offering the program with no application restrictions. If you have only minimal programming experience, you can enroll in this introductory program, and when you graduate, you will earn guaranteed admission into our job-ready Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program. This is a complete path to becoming a Self-Driving Car Engineer.

Introducing our Launch Partner, Lyft

Just one year of the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program has taught us so much already about the worldwide interest in this curriculum. We have students from 50 different countries enrolled! This is why we’re especially excited to have Lyft as our partner. As Sebastian recently wrote:

“The team at Lyft has a deep commitment to global education, and believes, as we do, that anyone in the world should have the opportunity to be a part of this exciting revolution. Lyft will fund 400 scholarships for the “Intro to Self-Driving Cars” program over the next year. The scholarships will be used to promote diversity and provide economic opportunity for students who might otherwise be unable to access this exciting area.”

Program Details

As with every Nanodegree program, students in this program will start building projects right away. They will study topics like Bayesian Thinking, C++ Basics, Performance and Modeling, Algorithmic Thinking, Computer Vision, and more. They will have the support of mentors in the classroom. They will receive lightning-fast project reviews from our expert reviewer network. They will join a unique and passionate community of people who are committed to a safer, healthier, more efficient future.

This program costs $800 total. It is a single-term program, which lasts 4 months. Students can complete the program on time with a weekly commitment of 10-15 hours per week.


Udacity is the only place in the world where you can study to become a Self-Driving Car Engineer. With the launch of the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program, more students than we ever thought possible will get on the road to careers in this field. What amazing timing this is! Earlier this month, on September 6th, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill known as the SELF DRIVE Act, which is the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market.

Today, we can look back at the DARPA Grand Challenge, and see that it was a landmark event. I think in another decade, we will look back on these announcements, and say the same thing.


Enroll in our new Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program today, and start on the road to a self-driving dar career!