More Udacity Self-Driving Car Students, In Their Own Words

Yesterday I shared 5 amazing blog posts by students in the Udacity Self-Driving Car Nanodegree Program.

Here are 5 more!

DeepTrafficJS Solution

Anton Pechenko

Anton is a student in the Udacity Self-Driving Car Program, and also in MIT’s class on Deep Learning for Self-Driving Cars. He is currently third in MIT’s Deep Traffic competition, and he reviews his deep neural network in this video. Pay attention to his choice of activation functions!

My first self-driving car

Bill Zito

Bill has a really nice walkthrough of some of the key lessons he learned while completing the final project in the Deep Learning Module. This project, Behavioral Cloning, requires students to drive a car in a simulator, record their driving data, use that data to train a neural network, and then use that network to drive the car.

This challenge is no walk in the park, and that’s part of what makes it really fun. You’re implementing similar code to the code that drives self-driving cars in real life. And you’re required to think through lots of the steps of the process by yourself to do so. If you end up stuck, remember that the experts just figured out this stuff was even possible in the last couple years.

German Traffic Sign Classification Using Deep Learning

Muddassir Ahmed

Muddassir gives a great explanation of what a neural network is, and what a convolutional neural network is — including the history behind them! Then he explains how he implemented the Traffic Sign Classifier Project.

The CNN was inspired by the work of Hubel and Wiesel back in the 1950s and 1960s. In the study, they discovered that the mammalian brain was structured hierarchically and that objects were recognized based on the hierarchical build-up of features from small ones, such as colors, stripes, lines into bigger ones such as patterns and even larger concepts of dog, cat, human e.t.c.

Self-Driving Car Engineer Diary — 2

Andrew Wilkie

We put a lot of effort into making the first week of the program fun and rewarding, so students understand from the very beginning what they might be able to accomplish. Andrew has a great journal of how his first week in the program went.

Andrew Gray popped into our student ‘ama’ Slack channel for a 30 minute Q&A. Students were asking a lot about future job opportunities in this new Self-Driving vehicle industry. Some were concerned with the rapid rate of improvement and that by the time we graduate (Sep/2017 for my Dec/2016 co-hort) that we might have missed the best opportunities. Andrew highlighted the fact many existing companies outside of Self-Driving cars and trucks are actively pursuing combined AI / Robotics strategies and completing this intensive 9 month training readies us for this new industry.

Udacity Self-Driving Car Nanodegree Project 1 — Finding Lane Lines

Jeremy Shannon

Jeremy says some really nice things about the Udacity program in his post, and then outlines the steps he took to complete the Finding Lane Lines Project. This was my own very first project as an autonomous vehicle engineering student, so it is near and dear to my heart.

This is the best online course (or, should I say, collection of courses) I’ve taken so far. Yes, even better than Fire Safety Refresher Training. Really! The quality is top-notch (both video and written/supplemental material), the feedback is amazing, and the community they’ve built around it is incredibly helpful. (I wish that during my undergrad days I’d had an online forum I could go to and find that dozens of other students were having the same problem I was having.) It’s so easy to become completely immersed in the subject material, and I’m so thankful that this program exists. Udacity has really outdone themselves and I can’t possibly heap enough praise on them.

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