Udacity Students Past, Present, and Future

Here are stories from Udacity students about what they wish they knew in the past, what they’re doing in the present, and what they hope to do in the future!

Our Very Own Grand Challenge

Chris Gundling

A self-managed team of Udacity students from around the world competed at the Self-Racing Cars event in California last month. They put in a ton of work and here’s what they learned:

“On February 15, Udacity selected the group of 18 talented engineers (out of hundreds of applicants) to form the Self-Racing Cars team. Our team was composed of individuals with largely varying backgrounds from all over the world, with the commonalities that we were all enrolled in the Udacity Self-Driving Car Nanodegree program, and extremely passionate about autonomous vehicles. The team was given six weeks to develop the software to drive an autonomous vehicle around the track at Thunderhill Raceway for the Self-Racing Cars event.”

Note to My Past Self: Pro Tips for Term 1 of the Udacity Self-Driving Car Nanodegree

Daniel Wolf

Daniel, bless his heart, put together a terrific list of tips and tricks for Term 1 of the Nanodegree Program. He would know, after having mentored over 40 students!

“If I could send myself a note back in time to 6 months ago, I would probably find something more valuable than sending myself mentorship tips for Term 1 of the Udacity Self-Driving Car Nanodegree. That being said, I would have wanted to know these points soon after being accepted into the selective inaugural cohort in October 2016. I have mentored over 40 students after having some success in the SDC Nanodegree myself, and this post will reveal the pointers that have been most relevant to my mentees.”

Finding Lane Lines with openCV

Eirik Kvalheim

Check out how Eirik built these super-cool lane line GIFs!

“This project is the first among several projects in the Self Driving Car Engineer program at Udacity. Here we learn cutting edge technology equipping us with the tools for a career in the field of Self Driving Cars. Udacity calls it a “Nanodegree”, but it lasts over 9 months and with all the hours I am putting into this, it really becomes a full education for me. So that brings me to this project, which was so much fun I just had to stop myself, I could go on forever, there is always something to do better, and so much good Inspiration!”

Self-driving Cars — OpenCV and SVM Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn for Vehicle Detection on the Road

Riccardo provides a terrific and thorough walkthrough of his vehicle detection project. I especially like the experiments he ran with color spaces and histograms.

“First, we identify and extract the features from the image, and then use it to train a classifier. Next, we execute a window search on the image, on each frame from the video stream, to reliably identify and classify the vehicles. Finally, we must deal with false positives and estimate a bounding box for vehicles detected.”

Diving into the world of self-driving cars

Michael Virgo

I love Michael’s story of leaving his Big Four accounting job to become a self-driving car engineer. He completed Term 1!

“Luckily in Silicon Valley many people are more focused on what you can do than simply how many years you’ve been doing something. For Udacity’s part, they’ve provided me with a mentor and lots of career content, as well as access to events with some great hiring partners, that also give me great hope that I’ll be able to make the jump to working directly on self-driving cars.”

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