Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree Program FAQ

  • Why should I enroll in the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program?

    Self-driving cars are the future of smart transportation, and this introductory program is the perfect way to start your journey to a self-driving car career! This program enables anyone with minimal programming experience to learn the essentials of programming a self-driving car, from machine learning to object-oriented programming to probabilistic robotics. You will learn how to solve problems in both Python and C++ as you discover what makes self-driving cars possible. Best of all, graduates earn guaranteed admission into our career-ready Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program!

  • What kinds of topics will the program cover?

    The program will cover topics like Bayesian probability, C++ basics, linear algebra, object-oriented programming in Python (and C++), data science, robot localization and control, and some machine learning and computer vision techniques.

  • How do I know if this program is right for me?

    If you're interested in self-driving cars, and already have a basic understanding of programming and algebra, then this program is right for you! If you're considering a career in this amazing field, but don't yet possess all the skills and experience necessary to start applying for jobs today, this program will be your first step toward a self-driving car career. When you graduate, you'll have guaranteed admission into our career-ready Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program, where you'll learn everything you need to know to launch your career.

    Both programs are full-featured Nanodegree programs offering the same suite of benefits and services—such as real-world projects, expert project review, mentorship, and more; the only decision you need to make is which program matches your current skills and experience.

  • Is the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program for beginners?

    From a skills standpoint, the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program should be understood as an intermediate level program; one that focuses on teaching you the skills necessary to build a foundation in self-driving cars. You are expected to know how to program, but you are not expected to have experience with algorithmic programming or robotics systems. You are expected to have a mathematical understanding up to algebra, and be ready to learn calculus and linear algebra notation. The only sense in which you might consider this a "beginner" program is that it's for learners new to self-driving cars!

  • Will the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program enable me to get a job in the field?

    This program does not focus on job preparation. While many of the skills you learn are foundational skills for a career in self-driving cars, the goal of the program is for you to master the core skills necessary so you can progress to the advanced curriculum. When you graduate, you earn guaranteed enrollment into our Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program. This program will fully prepare you for a career in the field. So, if you are new to the field of self-driving cars, then you can consider this a 2-stage path to career readiness.

  • What are the prerequisites for enrollment?

    Students should have some experience with programming—writing short scripts in a programming language—and be comfortable with algebra. You should also feel comfortable reading and modifying code that you are given, with the understanding that solving problems in code may still be challenging. If you believe you need more preparation, here are some additional resources you can use:

    Free Courses

    Paid Programs

  • What frameworks/languages/technologies will I be learning in this program?

    You will be working with Python and C++. You will also interact with Jupyter Notebooks in the classroom.

  • Do I need any special equipment to take this program?

    Nothing is required to complete the program except for a model of computer capable of running our programs, and an adequate internet connection. The minimum computational prerequisite requirements for this Nanodegree program are the following:

    • 4GB RAM
    • Quad-Core i5 processor or equivalent
    • 50GB free HDD space
    • WiFi capability (802.11x)
  • Will I be able to enroll in the Self-Driving Car Nanodegree program after completing this program?

    Upon successful completion of the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program, you will earn guaranteed admission into our Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program! You will also have the option of enrolling in either our Robotics or Flying Car Nanodegree programs, should you decide one of these represents the right career path for you.

Program Features

  • Can you tell me more about Mentorship?

    Of course! Once you enroll, you will be assigned a Udacity mentor who can help provide guidance and support throughout your Nanodegree experience. This mentor will get to know you and your learning style, and will be able to help you get exactly what you want out of your Nanodegree program. They can answer your questions, point you to helpful resources, and recommend strategies for program success. Your mentor is there to ensure you're supported every step of your journey, from enrollment to graduation.

  • How do Project Reviews work?

    Every time you submit a project, you will receive in-depth, personalized feedback on your project submission from one of our expert project reviewers. They will not only make clear make clear where you succeeded and where you struggled, they will provide guidance on what you should try next, and give suggestions on how you can go even further with your project.

  • What do you mean by "Student Community?"

    As soon as you enroll, you will be given access to a (very!) active student Slack Community. The Slack channel for Intro to Self-Driving Cars includes students from both this program, and the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program, making this a truly unique opportunity to interact with students of all skills levels, including those who are further along in their studies—these students can be a tremendous source of helpful information and inspiration.

    The Slack community enables you to connect directly with your classmates in real time; all Udacity students regularly use these forums to support each other's work, answer each other's questions, and share relevant ideas and resources. Virtually all of our graduates highlight this community aspect as one of the most important parts of their Nanodegree program experience.

Program Structure

  • Is this program online, in-person, or some combination of both?

    The program is online, and students interact with peers, mentors, coaches, and instructors in our virtual classrooms and on Slack.

  • Will I need to be available online at specific times for my Intro to Self-Driving Cars program?

    The Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program content is available online globally 24/7 in your Udacity classroom. Program resources (such as the FAQ, Slack community and in-classroom mentors) are also available online.

    Specific online live events will be announced in advance. Attendance is optional, and archived versions will be made available to all students shortly after the live event takes place.

  • Will I be able to pause my Nanodegree program?

    The fixed-term nature of the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program, and the need for maintaining a consistent and stable student body throughout, precludes offering the option to pause your studies.

  • Is this program self-paced?

    The start and end dates of the program are fixed, and you must complete all assigned projects by the end date, so to that extent, the answer is "no, it is not self-paced." You must complete the program within a fixed time period. However, projects may be submitted at any time during the term, and individual project deadlines are recommendations, not requirements. So within the boundaries of a given term, there is some opportunity to work at your own pace. But you should plan to follow our recommended timeline, as this will best enable you to keep pace with your peers, and complete the program on time.

  • How many hours a week should I expect to spend on my coursework?

    Between instructional content, quizzes, projects, and other course-related activity, we estimate that investing 10-15 hours/week will enable you to proceed through the curriculum at a successful pace.

  • How long will I have access to the content?

    The program is paced to be completed in 4-months (17 weeks). All students will have access to the content for an additional 4 weeks to submit and pass all the projects, for a total of 21 weeks. Students who graduate from the program will have access to the material for as long as this program and materials are made available on the Udacity platform.

  • Will I have access to the material even after the term ends?

    Yes! Successful graduates of our Nanodegree program are eligible to keep curriculum access. Please note however, that students who leave the program—or who are removed from the program—prior to successfully graduating, will cease to have access.

  • I want to change my start date, is this possible?

    We try to accommodate change requests, but also need to maintain consistent enrollment in each term. Before your start date, you are able to change your start date to a future session. After your start date, your request to change classes will be considered on a case-by-case/exception basis. We do not guarantee that your request will be accommodated, but we will do the best we can to make sure the program aligns with your schedule.

  • Will content from the program also be available for free outside of the Nanodegree program?

    While some of the video material is available outside of the program, most of the material will only be available to currently enrolled Nanodegree students. Access to project feedback, instructor support, and mentorship are benefits exclusive to the Nanodegree programs. You must complete all projects in the program by the deadline to maintain access to course content; once you have completed the program, you will have access to course material indefinitely.

  • Will there be a Nanodegree Plus version of this program, with the job guarantee?

    No, there is no Nanodegree Plus version of the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program. This program is not focused on job readiness. Graduates are encouraged to enroll in the career-ready Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program.

  • Will there be Udacity Connect sessions held for this Nanodegree program?

    We will not be supporting Connect sessions for the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program at this time. While students of this program are of course welcome to attend Connect sessions, we will not be able to provide curriculum support at the sessions, nor will there be session leads on-site who are equipped to provide specific program guidance and input.

  • I know you offer the opportunity for students to pause their studies in other Nanodegree programs; will that be an option for this program?

    There is no option to pause your enrollment in the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program, due to the fixed timeline nature of the program and the need to maintain a consistent and stable student body. If you have a special circumstance that requires more time, please contact Udacity Support.

  • Can I enroll in the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program while I'm enrolled in a different Nanodegree program?

    We do not recommend doing so, though there is no specific prohibition against it. Our main reason for recommending against simultaneous enrollments is the time commitment. This is an intensive, fixed-term program. It is not self-paced, and it is accordingly critical that students proceed throughout the program at the necessary rate of progress. To make the most of each program, you're definitely best served by focusing solely on one program at a time, and fully immersing in the unique structure and pacing of each. You can always take one after the other!

Deadline Policy

  • When we use the term "deadline" with regards to Nanodegree Program projects, we use it in one of two ways:

    1. To mean a final deadline for submitting all projects
    2. To refer to ongoing suggested deadlines for individual projects

    It is very important to understand the distinctions between the two, as your progress in the program is measured against the deadlines we've established. Please see below for an explanation of what each usage means.

  • A final deadline for submitting all projects

    In order to graduate from a Nanodegree program, you must submit all projects by the last day of the program, and pass all projects once they are reviewed by a Udacity Reviewer (the reviews may take place after the last day of the term; the submission may not). Passing a project means a Udacity Reviewer has marked a project as "Meets Specifications."

  • Ongoing suggested deadlines for individual projects

    The deadlines you see in your classroom are suggestions for when you should ideally pass each project. They are meant to help keep you on track so that you maintain an appropriate pace throughout the program–one that will see you graduate on time!

    Please note that you can submit your project as many times as you need to. There are no penalties if you miss these deadlines. However, you will be at risk of not passing all projects on time if you miss these deadlines, and fall behind, so it is a recommended best practice to try and meet each suggested deadline.

  • What happens if I don't complete all projects by the program end date?

    If you do not submit all projects by the end of the Nanodegree term, you will receive a 4-week extension to complete any outstanding projects. You will only receive this extension once. If you do not submit and pass all projects within the 4-week extension, you will be removed from the program and lose access to the content. To resume access to the program, you would need to re-enroll, and pay the enrollment fee again.


  • How much does the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program cost?

    The program consists of one 4-month long term, and it costs $800.

  • Are there additional costs to this program?

    The one-time payment comprises your full tuition cost, and as such, should cover the majority of everything necessary to successfully complete all the Nanodegree program requirements.

  • Is there a free trial period for this program?

    There is no free trial period for this program, but there is a 7-day refund policy in place at the beginning of the Term. You can cancel your Term and obtain a full refund within the 7-day window by going to the Nanodegree Programs section of your Settings page.

  • Are there any scholarships being awarded?

    Lyft will fund 400 scholarships for the Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program over the next year. The scholarships will be used to promote diversity in the field of autonomous vehicles and provide economic opportunity for students who might otherwise be unable to access this exciting area. Please visit our scholarships page for more information.

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