And we want your help!
At Udacity, we believe in democratizing education. How can we provide opportunity to everyone on the planet? We also believe in teaching really amazing and useful subject matter. When we decided to build the Self-Driving Car Nanodegree program, to teach the world to build autonomous vehicles, we instantly knew we had to tackle our own self-driving car too.
Together with Google Self-Driving Car founder and Udacity President Sebastian Thrun, we formed our core Self-Driving Car Team. One of the first decisions we made? Open source code, written by hundreds of students from across the globe!
Why? We want to give the world the ability to contribute code to a real self-driving car that will run on the road—a learning experience that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the planet. Opportunities exist to contribute to Linux, React, and thousands of other open source projects, but nowhere can you contribute code that will run on a real self-driving car.
Another player wants to make its own self-driving car, and not for the reason you’d think. Udacity plans to build an autonomous vehicle and completely open-source the whole design. This isn’t about charity or generosity, it’s about education. – Futurism
To bring this open source project to life, we bought a car: a 2016 Lincoln MKZ, to be exact. We installed sensors and parts: 2 Velodyne VLP-16 LiDARs, 1 Delphi radar, 3 Point Grey Blackfly cameras, an Xsens IMU, an ECU, a power distribution system, and more! We configured ROS, wrote a lot of code, and now we’re ready to build and refine an open source self-driving car with the help of students from around the world.
Like any open source project, this code base will require a certain amount of thoughtfulness. However, when you add a 2-ton vehicle into the equation, we also need to make safety our absolute top priority, and pull requests just don’t cut it. To really optimize for safety, we’re breaking down the problem of making the car autonomous into Udacity Challenges.